Exclusive Jesus?

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. ~John 14:9

One of the primary objections to the Christian faith is the objection of exclusivity. I recently received an email that summed up the objection perfectly:
Christianity posits that there is one and only one path to God. What that means to me is that Christians are saying "We're right and the rest of you are wrong and going to Hell." I reject that notion with every fiber of my being.
This is an extremely common point of view in our modern popular culture that values tolerance above all other things. The only viewpoints and opinions that are not at all tolerated in our society are those that it regards as intolerant. The claim that there is such a thing as absolute and objective truth and the claim that truth can be known and understood are both rejected as arrogance. For more on truth, morality, and self-defeating arguments see the posts on Absolute Truth and The Morality Argument.

The objection of Christian exclusivity is common but is it true that Christianity makes the exclusive claim in the first place? Well, yes and no. The objection is not true in the sense that it usually comes with either the implicit suggestion or the blatant accusation that Christians think that they are better than everybody else because only they are good enough to make it to heaven. This could not be farther from the truth. Christianity is, in fact, the most inclusive of the world's religions in that all people regardless of who they are, what they look like, or what they have done are welcomed and actively called to come and know God personally. All are welcome and none who truly seek God and surrender to Him are turned away.

The claim of exclusivity is true, however, in that God has, through His own sacrifice, made a path - a single path - to Himself through Jesus Christ. It is not the followers of Christ that make the claim that Jesus is the only way to God. It is Jesus Himself that makes that perfectly clear. Jesus says: 
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8: 12)
“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die" (John 11:25-26)
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and who ever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
Many people today, when they think of Jesus, picture Him as a simple prophet or a good teacher no different from any other wise man that had come before. C.S. Lewis addresses this in his book Mere Christianity:
TrilemmaI am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
This is the point of the whole matter. Jesus does not simply claim to be the only path to God. Jesus IS God Himself. God made Himself flesh in order to personally make the payment for our sin that we are incapable of making. God Himself, in the person of Jesus, chose to wrap Himself in human form, be beaten, tortured, and brutally killed in order to pay the penalty for all the world's sins. He then literally and physically rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to take His place on His eternal throne. In so doing, He defeated death for all time and built a path - a single path - to Him for all humanity.

Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) Jesus calls you to walk the path that He gave His life to make for you. He is the only way to God. Ask God today to show you His path. Ask Him to light your way and lead you into all repentance and into all truth and into personal and intimate relationship with Him. 

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~Matthew 7:13-14

For more on the one way to God and on His massive desire that you seek and find Him see our posts One Bridge and He is Seeking.

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