Tim explains how the disciples had nothing to gain by making up what they professed about Jesus.
So, not only do we have eyewitness testimony and embarrassing testimony, we also have excruciating testimony. What does that mean, “excruciating testimony”?
I want you to ask yourself this question: What did it cost the disciples to hold to their beliefs? And the answer to that question is: It cost them everything. In fact, they were willing to suffer to the point of death for the truth of their beliefs.
Church tradition tells us that that Peter, and Andrew, and Philip, they were all crucified. We know that Bartholomew was flayed to death. We know James was beheaded. Matthias was stoned. Matthew was killed by the sword. Thomas was stabbed with a spear. Luke was hanged. Mark was dragged to death behind a horse. Paul, he was beheaded. And of course, John, he died in exile. There’s not one record of any of these men recanting their beliefs.
We need to ask ourselves, “What more could these men do to communicate that they cared about truth?” I mean, they were willing to die for the truth. And that’s why Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft—I like the way he puts this—he says, “Why would the apostles lie?” I mean, why would they lie? “If they lied, what was their motive, what did they get out of it? What they got out of it was misunderstanding, rejection, persecution, torture, and martyrdom. Hardly a list of perks!”
So you’re not gonna make this stuff up and receive all this. No, that doesn’t make any sense.