The Weekly Word: The Way? Really?
By Tim Purcell, Assistant to the Superintendent, Northwest District of the Wesleyan Church
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
— John 14:6 (NIV)
There is an exclusivity about Christianity that irks many in our culture who believe in God, but would like to custom-design their own path to Him.
But it was Jesus himself who made the audacious claims in the above scripture passage. He didn’t say that he could point the way to God, but that He is the way to God.
And He didn’t claim to be able to know the truth, he claimed to actually BE the truth. And if you want real, meaningful, abundant life, Jesus says that we’ll find it in Him. Then just to be sure we get what He’s claiming he states that He is the ONLY way to come to God.
Wow! Those are some wild, audacious claims! But then he backed up those claims by rising from the dead. You have to admit; rising from the grave does give one’s words a significant shot of credibility.
In the words of Andy Stanley, “If someone can predict their own death and resurrection, I pretty much believe anything else He has to say.” Good point. …
Perhaps you’ve heard of Pascal’s proposition. Pascal was a philosopher and mathematician who also happened to be a Christian.
When he would visit with friends who weren’t followers of Christ he would say something like this. “Suppose you are right and I am wrong. Suppose that when man dies he just ceases to exist, like a dog.”
“Now, I’ve believed otherwise,” Pascal would continue. “I’ve believed that the earth was made by God, that mankind is God’s creation, that man has fallen away from God in sin and God has sent his son, Jesus, to die on a cross and shed his blood for my sin. And by faith in him I’ve been forgiven. I’m a new creature and I’m on my way to heaven. I’ve believed that, but it’s all false. You die. I die. Annihilation. I’ve lost nothing by believing in Christ.”
“But,” Pascal would continue, “suppose I’m right and you’re wrong. Suppose there is a God and all of these things I’ve described are true. We both die and you find yourself separated from God in eternal damnation. You have lost everything.”
Pascal would then conclude his proposition. “You have everything to lose and nothing to gain. I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
Is Christ the way, the truth and the life? You had better consider his claims carefully. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.