Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:5-6
It couldn’t be any clearer than that. In our culture, it isn’t cool to make absolute, exclusive statements about religion. But Jesus does not mince words. All paths DO NOT lead to God. If you wish to find God, you need to go through Jesus.
I’ve had both good and bad experiences boldly claiming this narrow truth. The good experiences have invariably come when speaking to those who share my belief in Jesus. On the other hand, when I have spoken to those who do not believe Jesus’ claims about himself, the results have frequently been disastrous. Nonbelievers have often seen me as naïve, narrow-minded, and intolerant. Many are not the least bit persuaded by my words, no matter the eloquence or conviction attached to them. I have learned that there is a better way to proclaim the Gospel to a lost world. And it can be teased out of Jesus’ very next line. John 14:7 says:
“If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Aha! The disciples saw God the Father because they saw Jesus. They walked with Him, ate with Him, lived with Him. They could know God because they could observe him in the flesh. Our neighbors don’t have the same luxury – unless WE show them Jesus. If we have a heart for the lost, then we need to BE Jesus to our neighbors. That’s the ONLY way others will get to know the Father. This puts a whole new spin on that narrow path that leads to God. I used to read John 14:6 and only see acceptance of those who choose the path and condemnation for all those who fail to find the path. But as I read through the rest of this passage, I am both convicted and motivated by the fact that I am being called to be that path. When I do this well (which admittedly is more rare than I would like), I find that it then opens up opportunities to speak clearly about who Jesus is.
Lord Jesus, live through me. Help me to be a light in a dark world. It is my sincerest desire to show people the way to our Heavenly Father.