The Inclusiveness And Exclusiveness Of Jesus
A daily devotion for July 11th
4You know the way to the place where I am going."
5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
Jesus answered,I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me(John 14:6).
Jesus made this statement to the disciples to bring to their attention something that they knew but hadn't realized they knew. He said to them,
You know the place where I am going. And Thomas said to Him,
Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Jesus said that they did know. But they didn't know that they knew.
I am the way and the truth and the life. That's what I meant, Thomas. You know me; therefore, you know the way. For I am the way.
This unique claim of Jesus reveals the grandeur of His character and being! There is the inclusiveness of this statement--it all relates to the Father.
I am the way to the Father, He says. If you come to know Jesus, He will bring you to God. When I began my Christian life as a boy, my awareness of the one with whom I was dealing was the Lord Jesus. How I loved the hymns about the cross and work of Christ, and I loved to think about Him as the Savior. But gradually the Father has come into focus. More frequently my thoughts are drawn to the fatherhood of God, and I revel in the glory of that relationship.
Jesus says that He is the way to the Father. All the knowledge of God that we humans hunger for is revealed in the words of Jesus about the Father. He unveils the Father's heart--His power, His wisdom, and His love. This fully meets human needs. He is the way, in order that the human will may choose it; He is the truth, in order that the mind may comprehend it; He is the life, in order that the human heart can experience it. Thus, to know Christ involves the whole person and leads to the full experience of the fullness of God.
But note also the exclusiveness of His claim:
No one comes to the Father except through me. Occasionally someone will say,
You Christians are so narrow. Why do you insist that Jesus is the only way you can come to God? Other religions are striving to know the same God, and other religions are more tolerant.
That is true; we are narrow. On that point Jesus Himself was narrow, and we dare not go beyond what He said, because truth itself is narrow. The telephone company is narrow. If you want to call someone, the phone company insists that you use a certain series of numbers in exactly the proper sequence, and it leaves absolutely no room for you to play around. It is utterly narrow-minded on that point!
Truth is that way. Jesus is the fulfillment of His own word:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Others may teach about God. They may say that they teach the truth and seek the life. But only Jesus says,
I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life.
Lord Jesus, You are the way to the Father. Thank You for showing me that, and thank You for inviting me to share in the fullness of His truth and life.
Life Application: Is there more than one way to come to God? What do you think we must do to find God?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.