Did Jesus Claim to be the Only Way?
In the final days of Jesus’ ministry, he took his twelve disciples into an upper room, where he shared with them that after suffering for sin, he would be leaving to return to his Father in heaven. Jesus assured them he would prepare a place for them in his Father’s house, and that they already knew the way there.
But Thomas, more inquisitive and analytical than the other disciples, tried to pin Jesus down. He wanted details: Exactly where was Jesus going, and what path did they need to take to follow him?
Jesus answered Thomas with a statement that must have totally shocked him. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Jesus didn’t tell Thomas that he needed to follow a particular code of behavior, or list of rules. Jesus was pointing out to Thomas that there is only one way to God, and it is through him [Jesus].
Can you imagine Thomas’ reaction? He must have wondered what Jesus meant. How could Jesus himself be the way to God, the truth of God, as well as life itself? All of the disciples must have been baffled at Jesus’ strange answer.
Also, Jesus didn’t tell Thomas that he [Jesus] is one of many ways, and that there is no ultimate truth. On the contrary, Jesus claimed that he alone is the truth.
Not only did Jesus tell Thomas that he [Jesus] is the life. (Jesus was clearly referring to eternal life.) Jesus was not speaking of eternal life as a mystical place, but a life forever with him. Every other religion referring to heaven or Nirvana is referring to a place, or state of mind. Jesus, on the other hand, was telling his disciples that heaven is an eternal relationship with him and the Father.
Lastly, Jesus told Thomas that the only way to God is through him [Jesus]. If Jesus wanted to make it clear that he is merely one way to God, he would have qualified his statement. But he didn’t; Jesus claimed to be the only way.