Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
I use the Google Maps app on my phone fairly often to help me get places. I just touch my microphone icon and say “Directions,” then I rattle off the address of the place I want to go. But if I touch my microphone icon and just say, “Directions,” after a few seconds it will respond: “Where do you want to go?”
The disciples were grappling with this question at the beginning of John 14. Just hours before his arrest and crucifixion, Jesus told his disciples he was going to prepare a place for them. But the disciples weren’t getting it. Thomas finally put this confusion into words. Unsure whether or not Jesus was talking about heaven, he asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
And Jesus gave an answer better than any that Google Maps could ever come up with. In one simple verse, Jesus not only answers Thomas’ question of where he’s going, but at the same time clarifies how to get there: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
With this statement, Jesus tells Thomas plainly that 1) he is going to the Father in heaven; and 2) the way to the Father is not a “what” but a “who.” Jesus doesn’t say, “I am one of many ways to the Father.” He says, point-blank, “I am THE way to the Father.” He doesn’t claim to know SOME of the truth about God the Father. He claims to know ALL the truth about the Father. He doesn’t say, “I know much about eternal life.” Jesus actually says, “I AM the life.” Simply put, he is saying he is the only way to get to heaven.
This is the most politically incorrect statement in all of Scripture.
These days, when people speak of the value of political correctness, they are speaking of the need to say things that are not offensive, not discriminatory, and not biased. There is a growing concern in our culture about saying things that are offensive to certain ethnic groups or to certain religious groups or to groups that have “alternative” lifestyles.
Now, politically correct speech isn’t all bad. We should certainly not go out of our way to say things that are insulting or hurtful to others. And under no circumstances should we demean anyone on the basis of their nationality or the color of their skin. The tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend are a shocking reminder of how far the human race—and our own nation—still has to go in people’s treatment of and regard for others.
But sadly, a growing number of Americans believe it’s more important to say what’s politically correct than it is to say what is factually correct. Facts are ignored if the facts are offensive to a certain person or group. The truth is silenced if the truth might hurt someone’s feelings. And I hope you agree with me when I say that this ignoring of the truth can be disastrous. That’s why the Bible—God’s word—has never been concerned with saying what is politically correct. It just says what is correct. It just speaks the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and lets the chips fall where they may.
By our culture’s definition, Jesus’ assertion is discriminatory and intolerant and offensive, because it excludes every religion on the planet except for Christianity. But when push comes to shove, only one question really matters: Is Jesus’ statement true?
As we look beyond John 14:6 to the rest of the New Testament, we find Jesus’ claim confirmed time and time again. In Acts 4:12, the Apostle Peter says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to me by which we must be saved.” Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.”
The Bible is crystal clear in its claim that Jesus is the only way to have our sins forgiven; the only way to be brought from spiritual death to spiritual life; the only way to have our broken relationship with God restored; and Jesus is the only way to heaven. It’s certainly not politically correct, but that’s what it says.
Jesus is no fool. If there was some other way for you and me to make it to heaven without Jesus, you’d better believe Jesus would have never died on the cross. The only reason he suffered and died was because there was no other way. There IS no other way. Which means that if you don’t come to God through Jesus, you don’t come to God at all. That may sound offensive, even scandalous to you. But facts are facts. Truth is truth. Jesus is the only way.
When we breathe our last breath here on earth and stand on the precipice between earth and eternity, the only thing that will matter is whether or not this statement by Jesus is true—and, if it is, what did you and I do in response to this truth? If you haven’t responded to this truth, I urge you to do so today.
Dane Davis is the Lead Pastor of First Christian Church in Victorville. For more information,
visit www.fccvv.com and join us for worship Sundays at 10 a.m.