Jesus keeps his promises? Let’s see…
‘I’ll be back while my disciples are still alive’.
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels… I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom. (Matthew 16:27-28)
Oops. He got that wrong. Two thousand years later and his followers are still waiting. Despite what today’s believers claim, he didn’t say he’d reappear over two thousand years into his future. Safe to assume he’s not going to make it at this late date
‘Anything you ask for will be yours… whatever you ask.’
Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. (John 16.23)
Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11.24; also Matthew 21.21-22)
Christians hedge round this one by saying God answers prayers in his own time and in his own way. His answer might be ‘no, you can’t have that’. But that’s not what Jesus says. He says ‘Whatever you ask… anything… will be yours.’ What is this if not a false promise?
‘My followers will do even greater miracles than I have.’
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. (John 14.12-14)
Believers regularly walk on water, turn water into wine, and – slightly less frivolously – raise the dead. Except… no they don’t. It doesn’t happen. They should be doing even more startling things than this too – Jesus promises ‘greater works’ than his – but again, two thousand years on and they haven’t even mastered basic mountain throwing. What a let down. What hokum.
‘You’ll be able to do the impossible.’
These signs will accompany those who believe:…. they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16.17)
Which is why, I guess, we have no need of hospitals, because Christians can heal everyone; why members of those fanatical snake-handling churches in America, who take Jesus at his word… erm… regularly die from snake bites. And not even these true believers are crazy enough to drink poison. There’s a limit to how much faith even gullible Christians have in Jesus’ empty words.
‘Don’t bother working or earning a living. God will provide.’
Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6.25-7.1)
Yeah, right. His followers recognise how useless this one is too; they do strive to make a living and provide for their families. None of them wait for God to provide because they’d be dead before he got round to it.
‘God will look after your hair (because you’re worth it).’
But even the hairs of your head are all counted… You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. (Luke 12.7 & 21.12-19)
Oh, come on. Now he’s just being silly.
And that’s only a few of them… Jesus’ promises. All as worthless as the proverbial chocolate fire-guard. Christians, of course, know this well. They neither trust in his promises nor demonstrate them in their lives. As it is, how they live is indistinguishable from everyone else; completely devoid of miracles and lacking in any supernatural provision. They tell themselves (and us) that Jesus is special but then disregard most of what he said – and who can blame them from that? Anyone else who made the sort of ludicrous promises Jesus did would be dismissed as a fool and a charlatan. It’s way past time we recognised Jesus as just that.