Oh yeah, one more thing: the fact that belief in the existence of Jesus
is the first, and perhaps foremost of the things being commanded ought to set off every skepticism alarm you have, to the point that it all but qualifies as proof of atheism.
Obviously, Jesus cannot be the source of such a command. If he were to appear in my living room and say in his Big, Booming Voicetm
"I hereby order you to believe that I exist!" *thunderclap*...well, that would be as unnecessary as it is silly. If he could show up to issue the command, the command would no longer be necessary. His existence would be self-evident. Instead, the command to believe in Jesus comes from the same men everything else to do with Jesus comes from.
So, we have a situation where some man shows up and says, in effect, "I order you to believe in Jesus." Which means we would be obeying him
, rather than his putative Jesus figure. Which is precisely the point.