Thursday, September 27, 2018

Superman, Lazarus, and Skepticism

I remember an old episode of Lois and Clark: the New Adventures of Superman where Lois dragged Clark to see a new magician perform. The entire way there Clark was trying to convince Lois that magic wasn't real, that it was all illusion and slight of hand. He wasn't really interested in going. But once he was there watching the show, and he couldn't figure out the magician's secret, even using his x-ray vision and super speedy eyes, suddenly Clark wanted to know what was going on. When he didn't understand it, Clark was driven to figure out how it worked.

In what must have seemed an act of magic, Jesus had raised Mary's brother, Lazarus, from the dead. One minute Lazarus had been wrapped in grave clothes, laying inside a tomb. The next minute he was stumbling out of the mouth of the grave as people began unwrapping him. When all of the people who had come to mourn with Mary saw this miracle take place, they had a variety of reactions. John 11:45-46 tells us, "Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done" (NLT). Why did some go to the Pharisees?  Because the Pharisees were supposed to be the religious authorities of the day. If anyone could make sense of Jesus' actions, if anyone could explain to them how Jesus had done the impossible, the Pharisee should be able to. Some of these people who watched Lazarus's resurrection weren't sure what to make of it. So they put their healthy dose of skepticism to work for them and they went looking for answers.

Skepticism is not a bad thing. Skepticism can keep us from getting duped by con artists. As long as our skepticism drives us deeper in our search for the truth, it can be a healthy tool in our belt to help us navigate the waters of life. We get into trouble when we use our skepticism as an excuse to just not believe.

What have you been skeptical about lately? Did you try to discover the truth or did you use your skepticism as an excuse to just dismiss it? If you dismissed it, let's hope it wasn't important.

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