Christ: The Only Way to the Father
[Editor’s Note: When you read of Jesus’ time on Earth, you see how connected he was to his heavenly Father. While the focus of ChristNow.com is Christ, to draw near to Christ is to draw near to the Father. In this blog post, George Bakalov affirms that indeed Christ is the only way to the Father.]
Often I try to put myself in the shoes of the 12 apostles of Jesus. (Okay, I admit I actually exclude Judas). But it might help us to learn a bit more about the time when Jesus traveled around the land of Israel and to imagine what it might have been like to be hanging out with the Rabbi from Nazareth.
Many years ago, right after graduating from Bible school, my wife and I spent 10 unforgettable days in Israel. We travelled all over the place—from the Judean desert, through Jerusalem, to the Dead Sea, and all the way to Tiberias and the Golan Heights. It was rich!
Our guide was a top-notch history expert. What I learned on that trip changed the way I think about Jesus.
One Among Many Rabbis
The guide explained in detail how at the time of Jesus, based on historic evidence, it appears there were many different traveling rabbis roaming the land. Israel was experiencing somewhat of a national spiritual awakening. The main themes of the rabbis’ teachings were apocalyptic messages related to the coming of the Messiah promised by God through Moses, David, Isaiah, and other prophets in past times.
These traveling rabbis had a following, possibly in the tradition of Elijah and Elisha and their prophetic disciples. Not unlike leaders today, the greater following they had, the more validation they received.
Focused on the Father
But Jesus was different. Rather than trying to attract followers, Jesus was focused on pleasing the Father, no matter the cost. For example, he seemed to have literally commanded, not pleaded with people to follow him. At times he was busy healing the sick and casting out demons all day long. And more than once he walked into the temple in Jerusalem and caused an uproar.
But I think the culmination of Jesus’ teaching is recorded in John 14:6 when he declared: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Think about it. Why was it necessary for him to make this statement? Would the 12 apostles try to come to the Father through someone else? Another rabbi? A new prophet in Jerusalem? The Sadducees? The Pharisees? The Essenes?
The Only Way to the Father
Jesus stated no one comes to the Father except through him. To some today, this might make Jesus seem controlling, demanding or possessive. He wasn’t. He spoke a profound spiritual truth.
The Hartford Institute estimates there are roughly 350,000 religious congregations in the United States. Which one is the right one? Which world religion is the right one?
Jesus wasn’t creating a problem for his apostles or the Church today. He was SOLVING a problem. Because the truth is you can come from ANY church or religion or NO church or religion whatsoever and still come to the Father—as long as you come through Jesus. We all come to the Father the same way—through Jesus. And through Jesus we will continue in the Father.
Now, not every church or religion will be healthy for you and some might even be harmful. But the way to the Father still remains Jesus and Jesus alone. He is accessible anytime, anywhere, by anyone who seeks him in truth with sincerity and faith.
It’s still the same today. The Holy Spirit is drawing people to Jesus because this truth will never change: Christ is the only way to the Father!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: George Bakalov
George Bakalov was born and raised in formerly Communist Bulgaria and received Christ shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. His message of revival, reformation, and seeking the Kingdom first has reached tens of thousands in close to 40 countries around the world. He blogs at www.OpenSourceChristian.com and continues to touch the lives of individuals and churches worldwide.