Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jesus' Provocative Claim

I am the way, the truth, and the life;
no one goes to the Father except by me
(Jesus says about Himself, John 14:6, TEV)

These words of Jesus prove to be a problem whenever Christians talk with non-Christians, particularly today when it is considered right to be tolerant of the views of others. The problem is this: if Jesus is right that no-one can come to God except through Him, then the common, ‘tolerant’ belief that there are many routes to God (as many of my liberal friends think it is so), of which Jesus is just one of them, looks very shaky.

Of course, we could say Jesus did not really mean what He said; or we could conveniently forget that He said it. Some Bible scholars, which is not necessary Christians, offers us a let-out by suggesting that these are words the Gospel writer put on the lips of Jesus, rather than actual words spoken by Jesus. But, as historically and evidentially proofs, there is rather more integrity about the New Testament than that. In any case, we must very careful not to dismiss this or any other saying of Jesus simply because it is difficult to accommodate into our thinking and reasoning.

The alternative is not easy. It means accepting the words of Jesus and standing by them. We then risk being accused of intolerance and arrogance: because here, Jesus is provocatively claiming to enjoy some kind of exclusive access to God and relationship with God. It is so exclusive, in fact, that if anyone else wants to come to God, they can do so ONLY through Jesus – that is, anyone who wants to get to know God needs to get involved with Jesus. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me

Do you know the Way to God?
Do you know Jesus of the Bible?

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