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.
The problem with religion is that sooner or later it's defined by who's following the rules and who's not... kind of like the public swimming pool with fences, wristbands and lifegaurds watching your every move. A relationship with Jesus is more like the diving board at the public pool. When you're on one all you do is dive and invite others to do the same. There are places for structure. But when we subordinate 'the relationship' to rules everyone loses. If rules could saves us we wouldn't need a Savior. (my paraphrase of Galatians 3)
I'm married (Johnna) and have three children (Quincy, Shay and Evan). I've done some school (K-12th, College, Post-Graduate work... I think 2nd grade was my favorite). I'm currently planting a church (actually it's God planting the church. I just get to be the lead follower) in Overland Park, KS called Mission. Check it out at missionchurchonline.com.
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