Summary: Looks at Jesus bold claim to be the only way to heaven using John 14:6.
The I AM Statements of Jesus
FCC – September 9th, 2007
Text: John 14: 1-6
Introduction: Wow…on this 8th birthday of our church, we celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the incredible claims that He made while He was here on this earth. We’ve been looking at the I AM statements of Jesus. So far we have look at five statements by Jesus:
• I AM the Bread of Life
• I AM the Light of the World
• I AM the Door
• I AM the Good Shepherd
• I AM the Resurrection and the Life
Today we are looking at probably the most controversial of all the I AM statements. Before we do that, let’s look at the context that Jesus is speaking. John 14:1-5 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Next to Psalm 23, I think this is one of the most used passages for funerals. Jesus was talking about His death and the disciples were trouble. He said that they were not to let their hearts be troubled, but to trust in God. Losing Jesus, or anyone who knows the Lord, should not trouble our hearts because Jesus is going to prepare a place in heave for all who know Him and then He is going to come back and get us! This passage provides us with incredible comfort. But it was doubting Thomas who confessed His confusion about where Jesus was going and how they could possible know the way. That’s when Jesus told them how to get to heaven.
Jesus said in John 14: 6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus makes the bold claim to be the only way to the Father and to heaven.
Paul would make the same claim about Jesus in Acts 4:12 (NIV): Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. This was a controversial claim in Jesus’ day and possibly even more so in our day. Christians often are embarrassed in the public square to confess that Jesus is the only way. It seems to many to be so narrow-minded. But we must remember, that when we make this claim, we are not giving our opinion, but quoting Jesus.
Let’s look at who Jesus claimed to be. Jesus is…
1. The Way: The only road to God. When Jesus said He was the way, He was referring to the way to walk and the path to righteousness. He was saying that He was the only road or path to God. In the OT you have references to walking in the way of righteousness.
Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Isaiah 35:8 (NIV) And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.
This claim is extremely controversial in an age where diversity is king. If you are unsure of what I mean, let me show you a video that I found on God-tube. I’m don’t want to run down an individual or a particular show, but wanted to show you a typical conversation in the public square…that gets fairly heated. Let’s watch a short segment from Oprah:
According to Oprah and many others in our culture of diversity, there is no way that there could only be one way. In fact, Oprah says that there are millions of ways. If we make the claim that Jesus made, we will be accused of being naïve, arrogant or exclusive. To claim that Jesus was the only way would be considered a cultural faux pas. I actually read one person on the internet who said that you are a potential terrorist if we believed that Jesus was the only way to heaven.
Early Christians were actually known by following this bold claim. Acts 22:4 (NIV) I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison,