Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 24, 2017

Thought for the Week October 29, 2017

On Sunday we explored the moment during the Last Supper where Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)  In this statement Jesus very plainly states that there is no other way to have our relationship with God restored and to go where Jesus is going (Father’s house or heaven) than through Jesus who is the only way.

Jesus made this statement in answer to the apostle, Thomas’s statement and question, We don’t know where you are going so how can we know the way? (John 14:5) Where Jesus was going was to the cross, then to resurrection, and then to return to the Father’s side in heaven. Thomas was essentially asking Jesus to tell him the way to heaven. So, again, Jesus simply said, “I am the way. If you know me, you know the way.”

In our secular society many who are influenced by relativistic and pluralistic thinking hear this statement as “You can’t go there! This is for a select few.” They hear that because they have been taught through the media and the education system that all religions and cultures and philosophies are equally valid since no one system can work equally for everyone on earth. Beside that faith systems are all equally questionable since so one can prove any faith is really true and those who follow them do so by faith without any real concrete evidence.

Because they believe these things, it is believed that all faiths or philosophies ultimately lead to the same place and basically say the same thing, so how dare Jesus and Christians say there is only one way to meet God. Because we believe what Jesus said, Christians are called mean-spirited, bigoted, haters, exclusivists, and even arrogant.

But when you boil it down, for a faith system to be equally valid and have the same result for everyone, there must be some way that everyone stands equal before that faith system. What faith system on earth can bring together people of different languages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds, colors, faith backgrounds, heights and weights, physical abilities or disabilities, so all are on equal footing? There is only one. Christianity.

How so? If you examine the basis of Christianity thoroughly you will find that it is the only worldview in which all people are of equal value and on equal footing before God, regardless of whatever difference they bring to the table. That is so because there is one way that every person ever born or who ever will be born is equal, one way that can’t change, one way that time or circumstance can’t alter. What is that? They are loved by God!

God’s love is the one and only thing that is for all time equal for every single person. God loves everyone; saint and sinner alike, not because of their biological makeup, their intellectual ability, their financial success, their religious practice, their ethnic origin, or their good looks.

The underlying premise of Christianity is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) There was only one reason for Jesus to be born, God loved everyone. He saw our situation, that we were separated from Him by our sin, and knew that the only way to bring us back to Him was by giving Jesus to die on the cross to be our substitute and pay for our sin. His love motivated the greatest sacrifice that the world has ever seen. And His love is equal for every human person for all time. Paul said, God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ dies for us. (Romans 5:8) Can you get your mind around how much God loves everyone.

God’s love is the only thing that will never change, that can’t be lost, that gives significance to God being our Father, because a good parent loves His children equally, unwaveringly, no matter what, and that’s our God.

Jesus said, He who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9). While He was on earth, Jesus revealed the Father’s love in the way He loved people. He valued and spent time with and cared for those who were different or were on society’s margins; foreigners, women, adulterers, tax collectors, even those who murdered Him. Looking down from cross He said, Father, forgive them. (Luke 23:34)

In Ephesians 3:18-19, Paul prays that his readers would be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge… I don’t know if that prayer can ever be answered this side of heaven. How can we know something that “passes knowledge”? Nevertheless, it is something to strive for, to seek after, and maybe be a catalyst for sharing and making Jesus known to those who might say Jesus’ words in John 14:6 limit access to God.

If we can find a way to communicate to those who are far from God, that Jesus came for all men, regardless of background or current situation, and that God loved everyone enough to give His Son for them, that God truly loves them, maybe that will help us to better make Jesus known in our post-Christian culture. Why not try it? Spread some of Jesus’ love everywhere you go. See if it doesn’t attract. Just a thought.

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