April 21, 2014.
“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
This passage can be both encouraging and very challenging for Christians. We know what Jesus was prophesying about, how he would lay down his life on the cross, thus granting our salvation. This is a wonderful thing, that gives us hope and displays the love of God to us. But there are implications made in that simple phrase that Jesus said that are very deeply reaching and are hard to tell other people. When Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture,” he was making the statement that salvation come though him, and him alone. Those are some strong words, words that are hard to tell people.
We live in a society that wants to believe that there are many ways to salvation. Any religion will do. Any good deeds. Anyone who is just a decent human being (which for at least 98% of people, I would guess they would call themselves good people). So, being a Christian is all fine and dandy (so long as you don’t disagree with me publicly), but we are all finding our own paths to God. This is simply not the case. Jesus never said that, nor did he imply it in any way.
If all good, moral people are alright, then salvation would come to the masses. What did Jesus say?
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
If any religion would do it, then salvation would be granted in any name. What does Jesus say?
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
If all ideologies lead to the same end, then there would be peace. What does Jesus say?
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
These are hard sayings to both hear and to accept. However, truth is truth, no matter how hard it is to accept. It may be hard to accept that you didn’t get into the school you wanted, or the job you applied for, or the date you asked someone on. Unfortunately (in these cases), the truth stands regardless. If Jesus is the Son of God, then what he says is truth. I believe this should be taken into consideration of everyone in this would in which we live.
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
This is why we have to tell the world about Jesus, even when they don’t want to hear it. Salvation only comes through our Lord. Christianity doesn’t fit with any other religion. God does not allow us to place him as “Co-god” in our hearts. We should get that character aspect from the Ten Commandments. There is one door to Heaven, and His name is Jesus. Let us spread the good news across the world.
Suggested Daily Reading: Matthew 7, 10, John 10, 14.
May your day reflect His glory.