Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except by me.”
Reading this verse in high school caused a bit of a faith crisis. I felt at once put off by the bold claim (How could there be one way, one truth?) and also concerned for all those who didn’t know Jesus. I went to talk to my minister, who told me that God loves Jews and Muslims, doing their best to love God and neighbor, too; don’t worry. He also told me that God was asking me to be open and willing to know Jesus as my Savior and share the hope I have in Christ. I went off to college with that willingness to grow in my understanding of Jesus as Savior. (This conversation took place in 1991 in Kansas.)
Ultimately, here’s how I came to peace with this passage. This is truth: We are created to love God and others. Jesus shows us the way to do so. When we love as Jesus did, we have life; we have it abundantly.
Also, Jesus is the final judge who gets to decide who comes to the Father, and I trust Jesus to decide well. Jesus talks only one time about what judgment will be like. He tells us that there will be surprises, that not everyone is saved, and gives us clear criteria: Did you feed the hungry? Give a drink to the thirsty? Welcome the stranger? Clothe the naked? Visit the sick and imprisoned?
Are you looking for truth? Love God and love others. It’s that simple. Looking for hope? When you accept Christ as Lord and Savior, you are covered in grace! You are enough.