Nobody talks the way Jesus talked. Those today who have great authority, even if they overestimate their power and over-esteem themselves, do not talk like Jesus talked. They do not claim to be the king of Heaven and earth. They do not claim, as they sit on their glorious throne no less(!), that every person from every time and everywhere will one day come before them to be judged. They do not claim to have authority to forgive sins. They do not claim to be greater than the temple and the Torah or to be the fulfillment and embodiment of the Hebrew Scriptures. They do not claim that their rule will spread to every corner of the world. They do not claim to establish an unconquerable church and institute new sacraments that have themselves as the foundation and focus. They do not claim that all their commandments are to be obeyed.

Yet with that said, as striking as such statements are, the more striking fact about Jesus is not only that he made such claims, but that somehow such claims are believable. Jesus is believable! Right? You believe him. I believe him. Maybe we’re just extremely gullible. Maybe we were all just brainwashed as children. That might explain some of us, but it doesn’t explain all of us. It doesn’t explain how for so many centuries very sensible, non-superstitious people have taken Jesus at his word. There is something very believable about Jesus, about the testimony of him that a fisherman, doctor, and tax collector put together.

Douglas Sean O’Donnell. “Matthew.” Crossway, 2013. iBooks.