February 23, 2012

The Exclusive Christ

John 14:1-14

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6


We were walking through a large Buddhist temple in Japan. One of my colleagues had commented on the remarkable wood carvings that blended imagery from various religions. Our tour guide paused and said, “Why not! Christianity, Buddhism, Shintoism—all religions are the same!”

You don’t need to visit a Buddhist temple to hear such talk. The notion that all religions are basically the same is held by a lot of Westerners and others throughout the world. There are different roads up the mountain, they say, but all the roads lead to the same peak.

Christians must respectfully disagree. Not because of intolerance, but because followers of Christ take the words of their Master seriously. “I am the way and the truth and the life,” said Jesus. And to make sure we know the extreme implications of his claim, he added, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This claim of Christ, perhaps more than any other, is the rock over which many people stumble. Jesus sounds so elitist, so superior. Is this claim really necessary? Yes! Because no religious teacher, no spiritual guru, has done what Jesus has done. Only he was crucified for our sin and raised for our justification. No so-called spirit guide has gone to hell and back for the salvation of his people. Only Christ.

Jesus’ claims are exclusive. Is your commitment to him equally so?

Lord Jesus, give us courage to confess you alone, in whose name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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