"The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,
to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God." - 2 Corinthians 4:4
I've always loved history, even as a young child. I would spend hours devouring history books, learning about the Civil War, the ancient Roman conquests, or the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire (among other subjects). While the other subjects at school bored me, I found history and geography to be fascinating.
So, then as a 4th grader you can imagine my delight when my teacher began lecturing on Christopher Columbus. When she mentioned that Columbus had discovered North America, my hand immediately shot up. "Ma'am, Columbus actually landed on Hispaniola, an island which is now split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Later he went to Central and South American, but he never discovered North America."
My moment of scholarly glory was short lived as the rest of the class burst into mocking laughter. The teacher tried to hide her own amusement, and politely dismissed by comment and continued with her myth-riddled lecture.
But facts are facts. Columbus never discovered North American. In fact, he never knew it existed. Even on his deathbed he still insisted that he had landed in Asia. Of course, it's not as if rejecting this truth and following the popular myth causes any real problems. So far, apart from just being bad history, the worst thing thing this myth has produced is another federal holiday, Columbus Day.
But what if we reject a truth that could save lives? What if, despite the factual evidence, we rejected penicillin as an effective antibiotic or that drinking clean water prevented disease?
The truth that Jesus came and died to give us is far more significant. It saves not millions, but billions. This truth doesn't extend life for years or decades, but for eternity. The truth is that Jesus has paid the penalty of our sin, and that if we make him Lord of our lives he will save us and redeem us. Yet many still laugh and mock this truth and the 'experts' dismiss it as silly nonsense.
But facts are facts. No matter how often we say it, the fact remains that Columbus did not discover North America. Nothing can change that fact, no matter how many people ignore it. The same is true for Jesus.
Once, standing before Pontius Pilate (who also doubted the truth), Jesus told him "for this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world: to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me" (John 18:37).