So this is the problem. You witnessed something that you know no one will believe. To your knowledge, it has never happen before, and you can’t imagine it happening again. But it did happen. You were right there. You saw it. Smelled it. Heard it. Reached out and touched it. It happened. But you know no one will believe you. What do you do?

You do the only thing you can do. You tell people something like, “I know you’re not going to believe this, but this is what happened.” And so you tell them. That’s all you can do, is tell them. Believing it is up to them.

In his essay “What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?,” C. S. Lewis comments on the Gospel of John and its record of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a graduate of Oxford University with a focus on literature and classic philosophy, and as a lecturer at Magdalen College, Lewis was an authority on ancient literature. From his study of the gospel he concluded,

“Apart from bits of the Platonic dialogues, there are no conversations that I know of in ancient literature like the Fourth Gospel. There is nothing, even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence. In the story of the woman taken in adultery we are told Christ bent down and scribbled in the dust with His finger. Nothing comes of this. No one has ever based any doctrine on it. And the art of inventing little irrelevant details to make an imaginary scene more convincing is a purely modern art. Surely the only explanation of this passage is the thing really happened? The author put it in simply because he had seen it.”1

I completely understand somebody who does not believe the gospel record. I really do. But what I’m not sure of is what someone is supposed to do who sees something that most people will find unbelievable.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” – 1 John 1:1-2

  1. C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company, 1970), 159. Italics in original.

One Response to What Would You Do?

  • The Bible is filled with such very paradoxical truths. It may be true that seeing is believing but the real reward is in Believing so that we may See. I agree, some things are impossible to explain until they are experienced but the only way to experience them is to believe. I guess we should keep living a life filled with faith that is easy for other to See so that some day they too may be able to believe.

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Thank you for visiting. This blog is the result of a lifetime of reading C. S. Lewis and a desire to sit down opposite him over a cup of tea seeking his advice. His responses are based on his letters and books.

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