Thursday, November 15, 2018
Over the centuries, there have arisen many different religious philosophies and teachings that have been proposed by people who are looking for meaning in life. Yet Jesus transcends every other religion and philosophy in one powerful verse.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). This amazing statement is what makes Christianity unique and different from every other religion on earth. Let’s take a look at what Jesus was claiming and what His words mean to other religious traditions.
Jesus is the Way
This statement is in direct contrast with the religion of Hinduism that claims there are over three hundred million gods. Recently I was in India and I saw a family sitting in a temple giving an offering of rice and lighting candles in order to worship a local deity. By offering pūjā, they hoped the deity would not be angry with them but the problem is that in a land of so many gods, it is impossible to placate all of them. There are many roads that lead to deception, but Jesus is the only way that leads to lasting peace.
Jesus is the Truth
This claim puts Christianity in conflict with agnosticism that asserts no one can know the truth and with atheism that claims there is no truth beyond what can be proved with a scientific experiment. In March, I visited the national convention of the American Atheists and I heard many of the attendees express their hope to find rational truth. But sadly, they are looking in the wrong places and using the wrong tools to find real Truth.
Jesus is the Life
This statement puts Christianity in conflict with Buddhism that believes life is nothing but an illusion. Buddhism says all of life is suffering, that suffering is caused by desire, and the only way to escape suffering is to stop all desire. Yet, Jesus said, “I come to give you life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). As a young man, Buddha saw the suffering of a leper and it caused him to forsake everything in his search for enlightenment. Jesus also saw a leper and in response Jesus stretched out his hand and healed the man. Jesus comes to give you life!
No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.
This statement puts Jesus in direct conflict with the Muslim religion. When Jesus called God “Father” He spoke words that Islam interprets as heresy. Muslims accept Jesus as a prophet, but they believe it is blasphemy to teach that God had a Son. Yet, Jesus was able to call God “Father” because He truly is the Son of God.
The truth is that all of humankind needs Jesus. The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible also says, “The price for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins but He did not stay dead. After three days, Jesus rose from the dead, and today Jesus is alive! The Bible proclaims, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Jesus did not claim to be a way, a truth, or a life. No, He claimed to be THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE.
I once heard someone say, “All religions ultimately lead to God.” But, think about this question logically. Imagine that I asked for directions to New York City and three people answered. The first one say, “Just stay on the road that you are on and you will eventually get there.” The second guide answers, “You are headed in the wrong direction, you need to turn around.” The third person replies, “Just let your feelings (your traditions, your conscience, or a guru) guide you to the right road.”
If three guides tell me to take three different roads to New York City, only one of them can be right. At least two of the guides must be wrong. The idea that all religions lead to God violates a basic test of logic. On the surface, different faith traditions share some similarities, but even a casual reading of the sacred books of different religions will make it clear that they are not communicating the same thing nor are they offering an equally legitimate way to God.
The truth is that some religions are wrong, even if they sincerely think they are right. If someone is wrong, they are still wrong, even if they genuinely think they are right. If you try to dial my number on your phone and one of the numbers is wrong, you will not be able to reach me, even if you sincerely think that you have dialed the right number. According to Christianity, Jesus is the only way to get to heaven. There is no other road that can take you there.
It is the mandate of our ministry to take the good message of Jesus Christ to Hindus, to agnostics, to atheists, to Buddhists, and to Muslims. It is through your help that we are able to share the truth of the Gospel with those who need it the most! Thank you for helping us to point people to Jesus.