I am the way
40 blogs of Lent, day 16
There are things in the Bible that are not easy to take. This is one of them.
When Jesus said he was the way he did not say he was a way but the way.
Now I would prefer is he had said a way, We live in a pluralistic culture where all religions are seen to be equivalent. The way that 21st century western culture sees things, a statement like that of Jesus saying “I am the way” seems so arrogant. And so do we when we say that Jesus is the only way. I wish that Jesus has said that he was one of a number of ways, that all religions are routes up the same mountain. But he did not say that, Jesus is the way, whether we like it or not, and as I said I do not particularly like this, it isn’t nice.
Christianity is not about being nice. There are not in the position where we can pick and choose our own religion from the bits we like from different religions and reject the bad bits. The teachings of Jesus come as a package.
That is not to say there are not similarities between religions. Christians have more in common with Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims,and Jews than we have with those of our own race who are agnostic or atheist. We have a common ground which we can acknowledge when we speak to each other, whilst also acknowledging what we disagree on.
As far as different religions being paths up a mountain are concerned there could also be some truth in this. But only through Jesus can we get to the top. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except by me.