Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #305 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 14 today and our focus is on Did Jesus Teach That He Was REALLY the ONLY Way to Heaven? Isn’t That Very Intolerant?? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
In the Sermon on the Mount, most famous sermon in history, Jesus says something quite interesting:
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Matt, 7
ONE WORD in this passage is kind of the focus, and that word is NARROW. The road is difficult and the way is NARROW that leads to life and few find it. The thing about the Jesus Way is that it is the ONLY way. Jesus says He is the only way to eternal life in today’s passage:
John 14:6 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 8:24 24 Therefore I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am he (GOD!) , you will die in your sins.”
If that is not true, – if there are many paths to Heaven and to God, through many different religions and such, then Jesus is a liar, and completely untrustworthy. I hear your objection, or at least, I’ve heard a few objections before to Jesus being the only way. It’s pretty arrogant to think YOUR religion is the only way. What about people in other countries – people not born into privilege – people not American, not white, etc – not Jesus followers. Sometimes people react to Jesus’ teaching on the Narrow Gate and being the ONLY way to Heaven by somehow thinking Christianity is an American or white religion, and how dare WE Americans claim OUR way as the ONLY way. That response is narrow-minded hogwash that is quite ignorant of history. How so?
Because Jesus was not white. He certainly wasn’t American. And He Himself is the one who claimed to be the ONLY way and He is the one who taught about the narrow-gate. Jesus was a middle-eastern man, born into the opposite of privilege, and Christianity was born in basically the middle of the world – the heart of the world in a tiny country that very few people can claim legit nationality to. Christianity is not a religion of privilege, nor is it a religion of majority – our Lord had nowhere to lay His head, and Israel is one of the tiniest countries in the world.
Speaking of tiny: back to the narrow gate. From the outside looking in, the Jesus way is kind of constricting. Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell all that he owns, and then follow Him. Jesus tells Peter, James, John and Andrew to leave their fishing boats and follow Him. Jesus tells a man whose father has either died, or is gravely ill to follow Him and miss the funeral. Jesus tells Matthew to leave His tax-collecting table and follow Him. Jesus tells a prostitute to stop sinning so that she doesn’t face judgment, and a paralytic to do the same thing. One of the last words Jesus tells the disciples is a command – a commission – to go and teach the World to OBEY everything Jesus commanded. That’s a pretty strong statement, and a pretty narrow way. Jesus commands His followers to go and teach His way to everybody. Think about that – if Jesus isn’t who He says He is – the Son of God and God Himself in the Flesh – then telling His followers to go teach the World His teachings is pretty megalomaniacal.
And you know what? Those followers repeated that message to the world. Peter, on trial in front of the Sanhedrin for healing a lame man, was filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaimed:
12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
1 Timothy 2:5 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,
Tim Keller says: Every other religion has a founder who points away from himself, really. Every other religion has a founder who says, “I’m here to show you how to find God,” but only Christianity was founded by a man who said, “No, I’m God come to find you.” Look at that claim. If it’s true, if he actually is God come in the flesh, then of course he’d be the superior way to salvation and to God. Therefore, Jesus is either THE way to God or he’s NO way to God, but he cannot MERELY be A way. He doesn’t leave that option open because of the statements he makes. He’s either THE way (if he’s right) or he’s NO way (if he’s wrong, in which case he’s just crazy or a charlatan), but he can’t be A way.
C.S. Lewis: I 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….When He weeps over Jerusalem (Matt. 23) why does He suddenly say (v. 34) “I send unto you prophets and wise men”? Who cd. say this except either God or a lunatic? Who is this man who goes about forgiving sins? Or what about Mark 2:18–19? What man can announce that—simply because he is present—acts of penitence, such as fasting, are “off” Who can give the school a holiday except the Headmaster? The claim of [Jesus to be God and the only way] is so shocking…that only two views of this man are possible. Either he was a raving lunatic of an unusually abominable type, or else He was, and is, precisely what He said. There is no middle way.’ [For instance,] If you had gone to Buddha and asked him: “Are you the son of Brahma?” he would have said, “My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.” If you had gone to Socrates and asked, “Are you Zeus?” he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, “Are you Allah?” he would first have torn his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, “Are you Heaven?”, I think he would have probably replied, “Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.” The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question.’ THE Way or NO Way.
- S. Lewis, The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis,
Interestingly, C.S. Lewis was not the first to formulate this understanding of Jesus – that He was Lord, Liar or Lunatic. Almost 100 years earlier, Scottish preacher John Duncan wrote, “Christ either  deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or  He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or  He was Divine. There is no getting out of this trilemma. It is inexorable.” And Watchman Nee, a Chinese Christian and writer, also wrote very similarly a few years before Lewis.
But the bottom line is this: the Bible proclaims Jesus as the ONLY way to eternal life in Heaven. The Book of Acts makes this clear over and over as the early church suffers tremendous loss and persecution to take this message of Jesus to the whole world! 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else”
Bible Memory passage for the month of November: John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/al_happ