Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Many Ways


I made a point recently to mention that Jesus is the savior of the WHOLE world. He’s not just the savior for the Christians but for everyone. Let me unpack that a little…

It appears at times that some have co-opted Jesus making him and his ideas ‘work’ only if they are processed through a conservative, 21st century, evangelical filter. That is incredibly misleading. Take for example John 14:6 where Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

First of all, those are powerful words. And yes I do believe them. I believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father but… there are many ways to Jesus. It’s dangerous to think that others can only come to know Him in the exact way I do. Why is that dangerous? Because then I began to think I have a corner on the truth and then I force others to go through that path and I push it and push it and after a while it just becomes another arrogant religion. God is so much bigger than me or my religion. (I don’t think that means that it doesn’t matter what religion you choose. It does matter. We should be careful. Some religions can be a deterrent and actually block someone’s progress to getting to know Jesus… But can’t that be said of the religion of Christianity as well?)

Secondly, we should be careful not to use John 14:6 in a way Jesus himself didn’t use it. Some use that verse in such a manner that instead of informing people of Jesus being the way, it comes off sounding as if He is in the way – as if there are people trying to come to God and truth, peace and life, but Jesus is blocking their path keeping them out. In the NT stories we find just the opposite. We see Jesus bringing in the ones the religious system was trying to keep out...

· Gentiles
· Children
· Women
· The unclean
· The sick
· The poor
· All of them (all of us) are welcome in!

In fact, ironically, the only ones who were really kept out of what Jesus was talking about were the arrogant ones… the very thing we are in danger of becoming of we present the truth of John 14:6 too narrowly.

Be inclusive,
J









3 comments:

jtc said...

We all need help, we all need saving, we all need rescuing ... because we ALL fall short, and that is the beautiful part.

Broken, flawed, vulnerable people like you and me are invited to be the hands and feet of a Jesus who loves us exactly the way we are ... but loves us WAY to much to let us stay that way.

"You" ~ nooma

jonathan foster said...

getting all rob bell on me

Mariel said...

Keep up the good work.