"How do you know that Jesus is real? I'm not doubting it. But I'm just wondering how do you know."
First off, I told him that I love these questions (like a couple of years earlier when he asked me how we know that God is real), and I love his honesty.
The question here has to do with history, and it was the same type of question that led me to faith in Christ in 1995. As I told my biology class when we studied the origin of life, we can't prove anything in history by experimental tests. This is true whether we are talking about George Washington, Julius Caesar, the Crusades, or Jesus.
If we can't rely on experiments, then how, in fact do we know something is true in history. We can look at three things, for starters:
- Testimonies of witnesses
- Sources that recorded and passed on information
- Changed lives of those who experienced that event or person
- Testimonies and sources about Jesus' life, death, and then His empty tomb.
- Changed lives of the disciples who were with Him.
Ultimately, following Jesus is a risk, but it's worth it. And if we take those steps of faith, the Spirit will lead us to keep maturing in Him, as we are changed from the inside out. And as we are changed and as God uses us, it will help our faith grow and grow.