2005-10-27 - One Way
Matt 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (NASB)
This is a mountain top moment of courage for Peter. He is a natural leader. But what Peter is saying here is either divine revelation or pure hersey. This will only ever be the right answer once in history. Mere mortals have, and will again, insist that they are the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. Jesus affirms Peter's answer, letting everyone know that Peter had been led by the spirit of God to this understanding. No level of human understanding could lead Peter, or anyone, to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah in their heart of hearts and give them the conviction to make this claim publicly. If Peter was wrong, it was blasphemy - punishable by stoning.
This is why the Pharisees and Sadducees had so much trouble with Jesus. They were leaning on their human understanding. This is not to say that there is no logic or rationale in Jesus as Messiah. But it is, and will always be, a leap of faith to let go of everything else and cling to Him for the source of ethics, morality, life and truth itself.
And, if Jesus is God from God, Light from Light, then everything else fades into insignificance in the light of eternity. Does this mean that we do not take care of ourselves, our friends and families? Not at all. We have a responsibility to care for those around us. But humanity lives craving the truth - the singular, central truth that everything else hangs upon. Mankind craves love and acceptance. We all do! There is one source, and only one way to get there.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way , and the truth , and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. (NASB)
All roads to not lead to God. They may all lead to a truth, but not the truth. The equation 2+2=4 is a truth. Portions of our mathematical understanding lean on that truth. It is not the truth. It is not the central truth that explains love and suffering, greed and pain, and hope. It is not the one truth that all others depend on for validation. I am not saying that we will understand all these things in this lifetime. Jesus at the center begins the process of putting all other things into perspective. If Jesus is God, then the above verse is the iron-clad, final answer that He is the only open gate to Heaven.
The early Christians were called the followers of The Way. That way has not changed, and will not. While the road is the same, the walk is different for many people. For some it is trial and pain, slavery, and even martyrdom. Others lead organizations that get the Gospel out to the nations. And still others walk the paths of distant lands to take the message to others, often at the risk of their lives. They pray without ceasing, and covet our prayers so that others may find The Way.