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The Way


Another uncomfortable yet unmistakable, exclusive claim spoken by Jesus himself. How I wrestle with these “only way” claims!


An ardent seeker whose superficially perfect life wasn’t feeling like it, I landed in a neighborhood Bible study at 32. I’d been questioning Catholic teachings and wanted to understand the underpinnings. I explored New Age spirituality, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Siddha Yoga, a mystical Hindu sect. All had compelling aspects, but something was missing for me.


Then, reading the Gospel of Mark, I had a deeply personal, mystical realization. It was like, “Wow, Jesus really is who He says He is.”


I was soon swept clean and swooning in an undeniable sense of my need for rescue and recognition that Jesus was the God-man for the job. The shroud of unconditional love and pink cloud feeling lasted for a long time and still revisits me over and over.

Yet I was, and sometimes still am, hung up on the "only way" matter. Let’s just set aside debatable dogma for a minute. This is what Jesus said about himself, here and elsewhere…


THE WAY

This was the moniker of the early believers: The Way. Jesus said He was The Way, the way to God, the way to live, the way to be.


I find immeasurable comfort that while Scripture tells us to follow Christ and seek to emulate HIM, He is also Providentially, The Way itself. That means my mournful human failure to follow Him faithfully doesn't prevent me from reaching my heavenly Father. Christ is the bridge, the very doorway to God. Jesus is my perfect standing before God.


I can't help but think of what Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14...


"The Narrow Way
'Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it, Because narrow is the gate and difficult is THE WAY which leads to life, and there are few who find it.'" (NKJV)

THE TRUTH

The beginning of the Book of John says Christ existed in time eternal, mysteriously both with God and himself, God incarnate. Jesus is Truth itself.


As I've wrestled with the goodness and truth I witnessed in other faith traditions, I came to believe that wherever truth is, I behold Christ, just as I behold Christ in all humans God says are created in God's image. He is, after all, The Truth.


Here's the fact, though: the Bible also says it's only those who call on Christ’s name, who acknowledge Christ as Savior, who will enter eternal heaven (John 3:36, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:13, +++ many more).


God is the ultimate judge, but this exclusive inclusivity is explicit in the Bible. The fact that other faiths don't make this exclusive claim isn't really a selling point if Christ's claim is true. If it’s not true, then we can toss the whole book. If it's true, it's vitally important.


To paraphrase Oxford scholar, author, and theologian C.S. Lewis, Jesus is either a lunatic, liar, or Lord.


THE LIFE

Having had the privilege of getting vivid glimpses of heaven by writing several near-death experience accounts, I'm dazzled by the hope-filled promise of eternal life in perfect, beautiful, loving bliss. The Bible says our bodies and all of creation is groaning for heaven (2 Corinthians 5:2, Romans 8:22, ++). Sure feels that way, doesn't it?!


Here and now, Jesus is our very existence (Acts 17:18), TRULY the source of all we are and do (John 15:5), and offers renewed life over and over as we turn to him.

Like many others, I still ask myself if Jesus is the only Way to God. I can’t deny what Jesus says here “nobody comes to the Father but through me.” I wanted some clarification:


  • Do you mean in an abstract, cosmic sense? Many other verses challenge this interpretation.

  • Does this mean every single person will meet you at the gates of heaven and get to choose you then? Again, there are “too late to choose” verses. I don't like it, but it's a fact.

There are too many places where it says that’s the deal. I also can’t deny it’s the best deal going.


In Christ, I trade my proven inability to be “good enough,” for Christ’s more than enough, reconciled to the God of the Universe. on His very generous, gracious terms.


“The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23


If it’s true, it’s important to know it and deal with it—pardon the pun—One Way or another.


PRAYER: LORD, how You challenge us with Your words! Please help me remember that You are God and I am not. Thank you for providing the Way to be reconciled to you. Please help me accept Your indescribable love-gift of Jesus and to be transformed by You by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen. Thank You. I love You.


References:


Thanks bunches! Love, Isabella



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