Have you ever heard of the mythic hero archetype? Every story is seemingly the same. Someone is born under obscure circumstances. They are sent on a quest and face various trials, but, ultimately, they succeed with heroic victory. Here are a few of my favorite fictional heroes from Disney movies:
Even as a child, I knew that these stories were make-believe. There was never a talking lion cub that hid with a meerkat and warthog in the Pridelands. No boy named Mowgli was raised by wolves. A fairy godmother never turned a pumpkin into a coach, and carpets cannot really fly.
To many, the stories of Jesus look fictional. Jesus walked on water. He made blind men see and lame men walk. Just look at His hero tale:
At a glance, His life looks just as fake–if not more fantastical–than the four Disney characters I listed. Is Jesus just another fairy tale, another myth, another man-made invention?
My unabashed answer is “NO!,” and let me tell you why:
– There is historical proof that Jesus walked this earth. Obviously, the Bible and other Christian sources affirm that Jesus lived. Non-Christian sources prove the same fact. The most famous secular source for information about Jesus is Josephus. Pliny the Younger, Suetonius, and Tacitus all speak of Him as well.
– Christianity itself is proof that Jesus lived. It is hard to start a religion of “Christ-followers” if there is no Christ to follow. Christianity is one of the world’s largest religions, and Christians have established hospitals, orphanages, schools, and relief organizations. Would people pour millions of dollars into a fairy tale? Furthermore, people were martyred for following Christ’s teachings. Would people be willing to die for a myth? I certainly wouldn’t.
– The Bible (unlike a book of fairy tales) claims to be true, and it is verified by numerous contemporary writings. Additionally, the fulfilled prophecies found in God’s Word give it validity.
Maybe I am a fool. Maybe I am deceived. Maybe I believe in a fairy tale.
But I don’t think so.
The proofs I listed above are enough to prove Jesus’ existence, but I believe that, above all else, personal life change is evidence of Christ. In the past, I was enslaved by sin and spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). I tried to please myself and did whatever I wanted (Ephesians 2:3).
But God’s mercy is great, and he loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God’s grace.-Ephesians 2:4-5
Christ freed me. My favorite fairy tales could never save me. The Lion King taught me “Hakuna Matata” and The Jungle Book taught me that I only need “the bare necessities.” But none of these stories changed my life. Jesus alone changed my life.
Do I still struggle with selfish desires? Yes. Every single day. But I can live in victory through Christ.
And that is how I know that Jesus is not a fairy tale.