Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jesus among Religious Leaders and Philosophers

Great teachers always point beyond themselves in their teaching. Books written about Buddha, Confucius, Moses, Mohammad, Plato, Marx, even Einstein (one of my favourite) regard their teachings and philosophies as the key. They would say, ‘Don’t look at me, look at my teaching. I am not important, my teaching is.’ They don’t dare to say, ‘I’m the way to God.’

But with Jesus it is very different. Whereas many teachers past and present have said, ‘I’m not too sure, but I think this…’ or ‘everything and everyway leads to the infinite truth’ or someone said to me once, ‘Richard, Jesus is not the only way! Christianity and other religious are the same,’ Jesus, however, made the most amazing claim: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus also said this about Himself: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5); “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:14); “I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9); “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12); “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26); and lastly but not the least, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).

Oh ya, He also said, “Follow me” (Mark 1:17, 2:14). He did not bring us a philosophy or idea to discuss or to debate. He brought us Himself as the way (back) to God. True Christianity is different – it is accepting the friendship of Jesus and following Him. Our obedience to His teaching follows our acceptance of His friendship. “The vital issue,” writes J. John, “is not just what we think or believe about Jesus’ teaching, but what we do about Jesus.”

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