Jesus said “I am THE WAY, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6).

· Modernism responded, “No way!” There is no God so there is no way to come to him.

· Post-Modernism responded: “Wait a minute! Maybe there are many gods – all kinds of expressions of divinity and spirituality. So maybe there are many ways! One way works for you; another way works for me”.

Both generations are pole-axed by Jesus’ categorical statement: There is only one way to the only God – the one God who really is and the Jesus who really is the way.

As we think of Jesus as “The Way”, there are at least two aspects we need to consider.

· Jesus is the only way to God: there are many ways to get lost, but there is only one way to be found

· Jesus is the only way to live: there are many other lifestyles, but they are all dead ends.

The world at large has overwhelmingly bought into the notion that there are many ways. And now the idea that Jesus is The Way has taken a beating in the church too. In The Disconnected Generation (Word; 2000), Josh McDowell surveyed 3700 Christian young people in U.S. churches. He found that:

  • 46% suspect that "it does not matter what religious faith you follow because all faiths teach similar lessons"
  • 65% of Christian youth either believe or suspect that there is no way to tell which religion is true.
In this thread of blogs, we will ask what Jesus' declaration that he is the one and only way means. We will start by looking at the reality that there is no other way to come to God. Our culture may sincerely believe that there are many ways. But being sure you are right is not the same as actually being right. In fact there may me a life and death difference between the two. As Proverbs puts it, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (16:25). Knowing the Way really matters.

2 comments:

Terry said...

Hi Brian, I really enjoyed this message at Convergence. How would you start a conversation with an unsaved, unchurched post-modern about Jesus being THE WAY? What questions do we ask or how do we open the conversation up in a way that causes them to question their position of there being many ways?

Brian Watts said...

Good question Terry! I think the key questions are "What do you think God is like?" and "What makes you think God is like that?". Jesus is the way to God - the only way to the only God who really is. Any other ideas about God either mean he is so disliked because he is thought to be responsible for suffering and pain, so people don't want to find a way to him anyway; or he is so tolerant and kind that any way will do. In Acts 17, Paul started his evangelism by contrasting the Athenians' ideas about who God is with the truth about who God is. That opens up the conversation: Jesus is the way we know what God is like and Jesus is the way to get to know that God.