In a blog entitled “Six Things Christians Should Just Stop Staying, Dr. Steve McSwain wrote that Christians should quit saying “Jesus is the only way to heaven.”
“What you are really saying,” he writes, “is the way we interpret John 14:6 is that Jesus was clearly drawing a line in the sand and telling his hearers and the world: ‘If you do not believe in Me, you won’t go to the Father when you die.'”
The “Spiritual Teacher” and “Thought Leader” McSwain disagrees. “I am one of them, who do not interpret Jesus’ words the same way.”
Our world today desires to diminish Jesus. We are told not to pray in the name of Jesus. Talk about Jesus. Or promote Jesus as the one and only Savior of the world. Jews, Muslims, and Hindus might be offended! Not to mention atheists, infidels and agnostics!
Following Jesus’ last supper with the apostles, they leave the upper room and begin to walk across the Kedron Valley to the garden of Gethsemane. The mood is foreboding. The disciples sense something is going to happen. Their hearts are saddened. And their confusion is evident.
After promising them a place prepared by the Father where together they could dwell, Thomas admits, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, how can we know the way?”
Jesus’ response is one of the great I AM statements in the Bible. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus’ pronouncement offers a clear picture of His relationship to the Father and His fulfillment of the Messianic hope regarding the future “highway of Holiness” (Isa 35:8). He is its fulfillment.
Jesus is the Way to God
In John’s prologue he affirms “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then he concludes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…” (John 1:1,14). Jesus was and is Deity. He came in the flesh to show us God and to lead us to the Father.
When the apostle Peter preached Jesus, he proclaimed “for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Jesus is the Truth
“I am the Truth” seems pretty easy to understand. Jesus said he was the embodiment of truth. The essence of truth. The incarnation of truth. John wrote, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” and that He was “full of grace and truth” (v. 17,14).
At his trial, Jesus told Pilate that he came into the world to “bear witness to the truth.” And then boldly stated, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (Jn 18:37)
To the Jews Jesus announced, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn 8:32). He continued by affirming that he was the one that could make them free! (V. 34).
Jesus is the Life
Speaking of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, John wrote, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn 1:4-5)
In a metaphorical way Jesus himself acknowledged that He was the giver and sustainer of spiritual life. “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51)
Friday’s vicarious death on the cross, and Sunday’s triumphant victory over death, forever verified Jesus’ affirmation. The McSwains of the world can disagree. But the facts are simple. Evident. Straightforward. And undeniable.
Jesus is the great I AM. The Way. The Truth. The Life.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman