The Great Debate
Ravi began to read about Jesus Christ, a man who was different from all others. Before we continue with Ravi’s story, let’s briefly look at Jesus Christ, and the background behind his claims.
For the first thirty years Jesus lived in relative obscurity as a carpenter. Then at age thirty, Jesus began walking the rocky slopes around the Sea of Galilee, teaching, performing miracles, and declaring himself as Savior and Lord. Eyewitnesses confirm that Jesus lived a righteous life. He healed the deaf, the blind, and the lame. He calmed storms, and restored the dead to life. He spoke about God with unflinching authority. Yet Jesus never had a political agenda, or desired personal power. On the contrary, he reached out to the poor, the undesirable and unloved.
In spite of Jesus’ loving words and compassionate deeds, the claims he made about himself infuriated the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus claimed he came from God, and that the only path to God was through him. His radical claims so incensed the religious leaders that they ultimately led to his execution.
The debate about Jesus Christ’s claims didn’t end in the first century after his death on a Roman cross. It continues today. At the center of the debate is the question: Is Jesus Christ really the only way to God?
That debate about whether Jesus is the only way to God became front and center on an Oprah Winfrey TV program during her discussion with several New Age luminaries. During the discussion, Oprah authoritatively asserted “It is wrong to think there is only one way….There are many ways to what you call God.”
When a Christian lady stood up shouting: “Jesus is the only way,” Oprah immediately shot back: “There couldn’t possibly be just one way….Jesus can’t possibly be the only way to God.”
Some Christians accept the Christian message as true because it satisfies their emotional needs. However, C. S Lewis argues that the Christian message needs to be believed because it is true, not just because it works, or is good.
“Christianity is a statement, which if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
So, is the Christian claim that Jesus is the only way to God true? In order to find out, we need to answer the following questions:
- Did Jesus claim to be the only way?
- Did the Apostles say he is the only way?
- Do all Religions point to God?
- How do we know Jesus’ words are true?