Lessons Learned From Jury Duty

2:21 pm faith, Jesus Christ, Truth

This past week I have had the privilege of serving on jury duty.  I have been away from my desk as a result and have not had the opportunity to keep up with my blog.  I am returning today to that task and would like to share some of the observations that come from my experience.
First, I learned what is reasonable is important to a jurist.  Here is an example of what is reasonable.  We know that some people run red lights.  In our area around Columbus, Ohio, several red-light cameras have been installed at specific intersections in order to record people running red lights and, later, a ticket is sent to their address for the violation.  This has been publicized in many different media forms.  We also know that some traffic accidents are the result of people running red lights.  Why, then, do we not stop at all green lights in order to avoid collisions with those people who run red lights?  It would not be reasonable to do so.  Green means go not stop.  If we stopped at green lights, more accidents would follow.  Also, it would be very disruptive.  Consequently, we deem it would be irresponsible and unreasonable to stop at green lights.  To be reasonable means that “it makes good sense.”
Second, what does the phrase, “beyond reasonable doubt” mean?  No prosecutor could prove his case 100%.  But, he could present sufficient evidence to convince an individual juror “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  Consider this scenario.  A person enters a bank and robs it at gun point.  Later, the following evidence is presented to convict him or her.  There is an clear image of the suspect on a video camera.  A witness places the suspect at the scene at the same time as the crime.  A gun with the suspect’s finger prints on it is presented as material evidence.  But, another witness fails to recall the color of his shirt and mistakes his red shirt for some other color.  Would there be enough evidence to convict the suspect “beyond a reasonable doubt?”
Third, which is more convincing, description or recognition?  If you were asked to describe the president of the United States at the present time you could give a description like this:  he is a male, middle aged, tall, thin, moderately brown skin, with graying hair.  But, how many other men in America would fit that same description?  Yet, if he walked through the door of your house, you would be able to recognize him immediately.  Recognition is stronger than description.
Let’s apply what we have learned.  In order to have faith in Jesus Christ, we must consider the evidence that He is the Messiah and the Son of God.  John writes his Gospel with this purpose in mind (John 20:30-31).
First, could we prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God?  The evidence given in the gospels is sufficient for such proof.  We have: (1) Prophecy and its fulfillment.  For instance, Isaiah prophesied specifically what the Messiah would accomplish in Isa. 61:1-2.  This prophecy was applied by Jesus to himself in Luke 4:16-21.  Then, Jesus accomplished the specific factors that were prophesied.  The prophecy is confirmed by historical reality.  (2) Miracles.  Jesus performed a wide range of miracles including raising the dead (John 11).  The miracles were not denied even by Jesus’ enemies.  They may have attempted to attribute His power to the devil (Matt. 12) but, Jesus was able to refute this attack on His person.  (3) the Scriptures.  Many times the Gospel writers indicate that something that Jesus did or that was happening to Him was the fulfillment of the Scriptures.  The Scriptures have their own authority and their veracity is supported by their correspondence to historical details.  Truth is that which conforms to reality.  (4) Eyewitnesses.  Eyewitnesses, those who recognized Jesus, give testimony that they saw, heard and experienced life with the Lord before and after His death on the cross.  The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to many people, including His disciples, is strong evidence of His resurrection from the dead. Of special mention in this class is the prophet Moses.  Moses’ credibility as a witness is unimpeachable.   (5) Jesus Himself.  Jesus bears witness to His identity and His mission.  What Jesus says perfectly agrees with what He did.  There are no discrepancies.  His own testimony is believable.  (6)  God.  At least three times during Jesus earthly ministry, a voice out of heaven speaks and declares Him to be the Son of God (Jesus’ baptism, Luke 3:21-22; Jesus’ Transfiguration, Luke 9:34-35; Before Jesus’ Death, John 12:28-32).
Second, unbelief is irrational and unreasonable.  Truth is that which conforms to reality as God defines reality.  To deny reality is to deny truth.  To deny reality is irrational and unreasonable.  Those who deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God are irrational.  There is sufficient evidence to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World and the Son of God.

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