Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries3 Minutes

“Thomas . . . was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:24-25 NLT

Joseph Ernest Renan claimed that he had great respect for Jesus. He even declared that Jesus was a great teacher, and an “incomparable man.” But, in an influential biography of Jesus published on this day in 1863, Renan stated his conclusion that the supernatural elements in the Biblical account of His life were not true.

Born in northern France in 1823, Renan studied theology at a seminary in Paris. Influenced by contemporary scholars, he began doubting the Bible. Leaving seminary, he became a specialist in Middle Eastern languages, as well as a philosopher and historian.

From his perspective, he viewed Jesus’ disciples as impulsive men, driven by emotions. And the story of the resurrection reflected “the strong imagination” of Mary Magdalen and others.

Renan wrote at a time when a spirit of skepticism was spreading, particularly regarding the Bible’s supernatural elements. Reading about miracles, some like Renan believed that they defied logic and made no sense. That they sounded like fiction, exaggerations, fantasies. They declared that educated people could never believe such things.

These were not the first people who doubted the Gospel account. Perhaps the first was Thomas, one of Jesus’ own disciples. He had seen the miracles of Jesus but Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. He became convinced only after seeing Jesus himself.

How about you? Do you really believe that the miracles in the Bible are true? That God still does supernatural things? Or are you a skeptic?

Today, step out in faith. Put aside any doubts. Believe in the God of all creation. Ask Him for miracles.


Prayer: Father, I commit these situations to You: _________. I believe You for miracles. Give me the faith to trust in You. I believe that all things are possible. In Jesus’ name. Amen.