Day 12: A Seemingly Arrogant Claim – Part 5a

Could Jesus be the only way?

Bible References (NIV)

Devotional

Have you ever been given incorrect directions? It doesn’t take long to realise that taking any road at all won’t get you to your desired destination, and it is the same with the world’s religions. Some people like to deny that spiritual truth exists, suggesting instead that all religious views are equally ‘true’. It doesn’t, however, take much thinking to realise this makes no sense.

You just read an account of Jesus’ teaching from John 14. In the prior chapter, Jesus had predicted his death and his disciples’ betrayal. The fact that they did not yet believe what he had predicted is clear even from Thomas’ question, “Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus then stated in plain form his belief and claim (John 14:6). He was God manifest on Earth (the way, the truth, the life). It follows that no one can have true access to God if they won’t recognise this as a truth. Jesus was making a clear and undeniable claim!

To note a contrast, Jesus wasn’t therefore merely someone through whom God was revealing himself — which was the Jewish expectation. He was actually God — as had been predicted even if not yet comprehended (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Today’s video clip is short. It essentially introduces a topic we’ll cover in the next 3 devotions. Some feel uncomfortable with Jesus’ claim to be the only way because it infers that all other religions must lack the core truths needed to know God. Some might think, Isn’t this intolerant? No, it’s not! For the comparison, consider someone who says all religions are essentially the same. This too is a truth claim (that all religions are the same). They are therefore claiming all other religious beliefs people have are untrue — as compared to their own belief, which they claim to be singularly true.

The point to understand is that every viewpoint is a truth claim.

The solution to this problem isn’t therefore to deny the idea of truth — which is the way many in our Western societies are currently thinking. It is instead, firstly, to understand what tolerance is actually about — and then to engage with our intelligence! As will be stated in today’s video clip, it isn’t intolerant to believe or state a viewpoint that others might disagree with. Tolerance is about how we treat others, no matter how much we disagree.

With the fact that there is no neutral position understood, what is true about our existence, our origins (where we came from) and purpose (why we are here)?

Either God exists, or he doesn’t. Either Jesus was the ‘man from God’ and is the only way to know God, or he isn’t. It is also important that we try to work this out because it has significant implications.

Christians believe the weight of evidence supports the idea that God has reached out to us in love through Jesus. If this is true, it is very good news!

Video clip: A Seemingly Arrogant Claim – Part 5a— 3mins

Reflection questions

  • Why do some people feel uncomfortable talking about which religious ideas might be most true?
  • Is it logical to say all the religions are the same, and that all religions lead to God? Why / why not?
  • Is it intolerant or prejudicial to conclude that a particular viewpoint is true after considering the evidence?

For prayer

“Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making your claims clear so we would not be left with confusion. Help us have the courage to seek what is true rather than what is convenient or easy. Help us also please to discern what is true. Thank you.”

related topics

coming up in our next devotion

Day 13: A Seemingly Arrogant Claim – Part 5b

The actual God of the universe is logically the one who created the universe and us. Jesus claimed to be the only way to know the Creator God. This claim is either true or false. The evidence either supports this claim or it doesn’t. So, what does the evidence suggest?

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