In John Chapter 14, verse 6 Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” There are a lot of people out there who object to this verse. These objections come both within and without of the church. Those within the Church who object tend to be theologically liberal in their beliefs and/or nominal in their practices. They may claim that Jesus is their way, their truth and their life but are uncomfortable about the exclusivity of the second part of the verse. In part this is a reaction to the criticisms of non-Christians who want believe that their own ways, their own ‘truths’, and their own lives are just as acceptable if there is a god out there. These objections tend not to come from those who have a strong belief in another religion, as they to tend respect other people’s beliefs even if they do not agree with them. Rather the most vociferous objections come from those who want to believe what pleases them, whether they are New Age pluralists who have a ‘pick and mix’ attitude to religious ideas, through a range of positions to that of militant atheists who hate the very idea of a god. They argue for tolerance, but they are intolerant to the claims of Christ. When they advocate a pluralistic approach to religion they are playing a game of divide and rule. Hoping that others will fail to choose any religion making them atheists by default.
To answer these objections we have to ask ourselves the question why Jesus claimed to be the only access to God the Father? To answer this let us look at the three things Jesus claimed to be:- Way;Truth and Life. The Acts of the Apostles refers to Christianity as being called ‘The Way’ in its early decades, so the early Church seem to have taken this verse to their hearts. Though most Bible scholars will tell you that John’s Gospel was not written until nearly three decades later. Clearly the early believers had no problem with the concept of Jesus being the Way and no other way was possible. But then they were Jewish, they understood how the ceremonial Law needed to be fulfilled. Certainly, at least, they knew that not just any slapdash procedure was acceptable to God. In more recent times we have forgotten all this and think of animal sacrifice as being barbaric. We do not see the need for it because we do not see sin the way God sees sin. For Him the price was so great that only God the Son could pay the price by dying on the cross.
I used to think the the primary objection to this verse was that the claim of exclusivity of access to the Father. But increasingly I have come to notice that there is a tone of hatred creeping into Jesus’ claim to be the exclusive Truth. People assume today that is alright to believe anything one wants to believe. To contradict such a belief, no matter how outlandish, or even demonstrably untrue, it might be, is considered to be either intolerant or even a hate crime. Biblically, if Jesus (The Truth) says something and you disagree with it, then guess who is in the wrong? You are. As Christians we often find that we have our arguments with God. Hopefully, in time we have the sense to come round to His point of view. If Christians find it hard to accept what Jesus said as the truth then how much more non-Christians. In a world where people think they are entitled to believe anything the claim of Jesus to be The Truth is a red rag to a bull. They hate him for it.
As for the claim of Jesus to be The Life – Have you noticed that when secularists and atheists tackle major issues how often their solutions involve death? An unwanted pregnancy; abort it. If you’re seriously ill; then how about assisted suicide? They are so fearful that a Christian might pray for a sick person, and that the God they do not believe in might heal them, that they would ban praying from hospitals. Atheism is a hopeless religion. The best an atheist can hope for is nothing when they die. For that to be true there has to be no spiritual dimension to human life which survives into an afterlife. So Jesus rising from the dead is something that is anathema to these people. He is the Life because he conquered death.
Which of the three is the one that people object to the most – the Way, the Truth or the Life? The answer is that different people will find one or the other most objectionable. But there are many that find all three equally objectionable
David Rose, 2014.