Summary: This sermon examines Jesus teaching in John 14:6.
Pope Francis’ visit to the United States ended last Sunday. During the duration of his visit (and a little afterward), the media seemed to be flooded with Francis and his actions. In one of my classes, it seemed like we discussed Francis every time we met. Often when you read articles online, it will provide a suggested article to read that is related to the subject you are reading. One of these caught my attention.
In our age of the internet, anyone can write and publish whatever they want online. This particular article twisted some of Francis’ words from a Vatican radio show in 2013. The way the Huffington Post article interpreted Francis’ statements was that all people who do good works, including atheists, are going to heaven.
I was skeptical about the Huffington Post article, and did some research. The Pope was actually saying that Jesus died for all of us, even atheists, and that we have a duty to do good. He also stated that doing good is not a matter of faith. “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us because we are made in His image and likeness.”
But people will distort our words. In this case, the author of the Huffington Post article did, and it seemed that many, who like what they read because it agreed with their lifestyle, believed that this is what the Pope actually said.
They believed that Francis was saying that there was other ways to get to heaven. They believed that he was saying that any religion, or even a lack thereof, can get you to heaven, as long as you do good works. The Pope did not say this, but even if he did, it wouldn’t matter.
The important thing would be to look to see what Jesus says on this subject. Therefore, let us look today at what He said in John 14:1-6.
I. JESUS IS THE WAY
A. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD
Jesus says that He is the Way. He is the only Way to the Father. He is the only path to heaven. He is not a way to get to heaven. He is the only Way to get to heaven.
Nor does He point the way. He, the person of Christ, is the Way. There is no church, no ceremony, and no religion that can bring you to God. Only the person of Jesus can bring you to God.
The world today says that this cannot be correct. There has to be more than one path to get to God. That all religions are essentially the same. I had a professor this past week say this to me, and I am sure many of you have heard this as well: “We are all on our way to the same place, we are just taking different paths to get there.”
Jesus says in John 14:6 that this is not true. He says He is the only way to get to God. He says that “no one comes to the Father except through Me.” He clearly claims that He is the only Way to God.
Peter would later proclaim this as well. In Acts 4
8 Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders:[c] 9 If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a disabled man—by what means he was healed— 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene—whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead—by Him this man is standing here before you healthy. 11 This Jesus is
the stone rejected by you builders,
which has become the cornerstone.[d][e]
12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”
This is not politically correct, but Jesus states it nonetheless, and there is no logical way around it.
B. HOW JESUS IS THE WAY TO THE FATHER
1. JESUS IS GOD
This only makes sense with what Jesus has already said. Keep in mind what Jesus has already said in this passage. He has already explicitly called God His Father. So obviously He claims some kind of divinity. But if we analyze His use of the phrase “I am,” we notice that there is something deeper happening here. The Greek word used in this passage is egō eimi, which has a timeless implication. Jesus is saying that I am, I was, and I always will be. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew word for Yahweh. So Jesus is claiming at the beginning of this statement that He is God. But He doesn’t just say it here. If we look at the verses following verse 6, we see He is a little more overt in claiming that He is God. Remember that He had already made a similar assertion in John 12:44-45: