“What does it mean to believe? Most people, regardless of what they think about Him personally, will admit that some- one named Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago. They may also acknowledge that Jesus’ teachings have had an incredible impact on an enormous number of people since then. It is entirely possible to believe that Jesus existed without believing in who He claimed to be or in what He taught.
What did Jesus teach that had such a lasting effect on the world? In the first account we have of Jesus speaking to people, He says, “The time has come at last—the kingdom of God has arrived. You must change your hearts and minds and believe the good news.”(Mark 1:15 NASB, emphasis added). The Greek word translated here as “belief ” is pisteúō. It is understood as “to think to be true, to be persuaded of, place confidence in, to entrust a thing to another.” Based on this definition, what Jesus referred to as “belief ” is not a one-time event or a historical fact that can be objectively documented. Belief can apply to a particular situation, but in order for someone to believe a certain thing is true, there needs to be a level of confidence that it actually is true.
Not only was Jesus’ first message about “believing,” but He maintained that simple message throughout His teachings. He often asked people to believe, and He commended belief over and over when He saw it in action” (Chapter 2 Am I Loved?)