“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)
Not through Buddha, Mohammad, Mormonism, the Mosaic Law, or good works. There is only one way to spend eternity in heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. There is a difference between tolerance and having a firm conviction about something. People are not intolerant because they stand firm on the exclusivity of Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father. Just because our culture and our media say so doesn’t make it true. The truth is that the claims of Christ are exclusive, and as Christians, we cannot waver on this issue. I know some people who, when I look at their character and kindness, even knowing they are of a religion other than Christianity, I think, How can those people not be saved, or why wouldn’t God save them? God can save them, but that salvation will not come based on their goodness but only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
We are not left to guess who Jesus claimed to be. One of the primary purposes for which John wrote his gospel was so people would believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ. For the Jews, the “Messiah” represented the coming “anointed one” who would save God’s people. The book of John records seven “I am” statements that Jesus made in which He explicitly claimed to be God. These “I am” statements angered the religious leaders of Jesus’ day because they understood that this was the covenant name of God first disclosed to Moses (Exodus 3:14). While all of the “I am” statements were and are controversial, perhaps none is more despised than the one we find in John 14:6 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus’ claim of deity and exclusivity bring about an angry reaction today. I can hear it now, “Jesus can’t be the only way; I believe there are many ways.” But Jesus didn’t say that. He’s not just one of the ways but “the way.” Does that offend you? I hope not, but make no mistake, it offends many.
Unfortunately, even many Christians are subtly being broken down as to their conviction on the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ. It just doesn’t fit our culture in this era of tolerance that such exclusivity could be claimed. But Jesus was never interested in fitting into the norm of society. His claims were always bold, to the point, and unapologetic. It may seem that not believing in and expressing the exclusive claims of Christ with confidence appear more humble and gracious, attributes that do please our Lord, but Jesus desires we take Him at His word. If we waver on this issue, and in effect deny its truth, it’s His heart we break. The truths of Jesus’ words are never dependant on how they make us feel.
So how must a Christian proceed? Take Jesus’ words at face value. He said it and He meant it, so don’t crumble in the name of tolerance. Trust in the authority of Jesus’ words. Do you think He died for you not to believe Him?
Dear Lord, thank You that You are the way, the only way to be reconciled to the Father. Help me to lovingly but boldly stand firm on what Your Word says, that through no other way but faith in Your work can one be made right with God. As society more and more counters Your claims, God, give me strength to proclaim the truth.