Personal Examination

“Caveat Emptor!” That Latin phrase, meaning “Let the buyer beware,” is excellent advice. In Southeastern Kentucky the principle was stated as “Don’t buy a pig in a poke.” It wasn’t pig Latin, but everyone knew what it meant. Before you shell out hard-earned money, make sure you know what you’re getting.
Many people buy into ideas about Jesus Christ that just aren’t true. What a costly mistake that can be! Before we draw conclusions about the Savior, we should conduct our own personal examination.
Such methods would have kept the Pharisees from condemning Jesus. When Nicodemus suggested that they might be unfairly judging the rabbi from Nazareth, they retorted: “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee” (John 7:52, NKJV). In their thinking, Jesus was from Galilee, and that disqualified him from being the Messiah, the one prophesied to come from Judah. If they had taken the time to personally examine Jesus, they would have learned that he, though residing in Galilee, was born in Judah. They should have been more careful about buying into the common thinking about Jesus.
Pontius Pilate, often derided for handing over Jesus to be crucified, at least got this part right. “Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, said to them, ‘You have brought this man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined him in your presence, I have found no fault in this man concerning those things of which you accuse him'” (Luke 23:13,14). Preconceived notions were stripped away when Jesus was personally interrogated. When the facts were sought, the truth melted away the myths.
It still works that way. Myths about Jesus abound, even among those who regard themselves as his devoted followers. Why does such thinking persist? It’s because we haven’t taken the time to personally examine Jesus or his teachings. We have a faithful record in the pages of the New Testament, but many will never know. They rely on secondhand information instead of seeking for themselves what God’s word teaches. “Don’t confuse me with the truth!” is the motto of many gullible souls.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” said Jesus in one of his most famous statements. The truth has been revealed to all mankind. But how many know the truth, and how many believe what is not true? How many of us are willing to personally examine the Bible instead of trusting some fallible human to do our examination for us? Buyer, beware! Make sure the religious views you buy are from God.

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Tim Hall

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