What Was Jesus Thinking?

One Pathway

One evening, after breaking bread with his friends, Jesus of Nazareth said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

According to present sensibilities that statement is obviously false. It is far too exclusive; it might even qualify as hate-speech in some circles.

After all, our multicultural society has many different religions that are practiced with equal devotion.

Who’s to say whether a particular religious tradition has the market cornered on salvation?

Shouldn’t we live and let live; allow each group to carve out its niche in the religion market?

Only one pathway to God?

What was Jesus thinking?

Brick by brick religion can build a difficult barrier to breach.
Brick by brick religion can build a difficult barrier to breach.

A Difficult Barrier

Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship - which is not splitting linguistic hairs with generally held beliefs. It is timeless truth that cannot be changed regardless of how much deconstruction and reconstruction of language occurs.

All the world’s religions are human attempts to achieve emotional security by coming to terms with our supernatural spiritual dimension.

Christianity stands by itself because by its tenets, peace with God has nothing to do with human endeavors. Rather, it is God reaching down to provide the redemption that escapes our efforts.

People are not unsophisticated. Everyone has a rudimentary awareness of God for he has “set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

We are born with an elementary understanding of God and sin; we all need guidance and grace moving to the place of accepting Christ as Savior. More often than not, religion is a difficult barrier to breach.

In our arrogance, we go to extreme lengths to transform the freedom of the good news into the bondage of religiosity. In doing so, we shroud its universal appeal to satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart.

Christ is the bridge between God & man.
Christ is the bridge between God & man.

Can customs & rituals be used as bricks to build barriers that exclude people?

  • Definitely & Always
  • Definitely NOT
  • YES, Quite Often
  • No Opinion
See results without voting

Jesus Loves Me

Our yearning for forgiveness, purpose, significance, love and community are found in the simple gospel message. Jesus bore our sins; he suffered the penalty we deserved. He paid an anguished price to accomplish atonement that is offered to every individual as a free gift.

Christ is the only bridge that can span the chasm to reconnect us to God. Jesus died for us not because he had some high hopes for who we are or what we would be. On the contrary, he died for us in obedience to the Father and because he knew exactly who we are and what we would be without him.

“Jesus loves me, this I know…” It cannot get any clearer than that, but we complicate the issue. Institutionalized Christianity routinely holds up a variety of hoops for us to jump through in order to maintain religiously correct appearances.

However, from ancient times onward there is no ambiguity about what concerns God: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Religion cares about outward appearance; it becomes consumed with keeping customs and rituals that have no impact on our heart-attitude. What pleases God is hearts attuned to him.

That is what Jesus Christ was talking about. He came to be the way by which we can establish relationship with God. His destruction of death allows human beings to be in direct connection with the Creator of the universe.

Inclusively Inclusive

Paul of Tarsus wrote:  “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.”  

The point is that we do not need another person - no matter how steeped in symbolism or piety - to intercede for us before God.  As his children, we can go openly to God, knowing that Christ alone has the righteousness to reconcile us.   

“I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  A far too exclusive statement; what was Jesus thinking? 

Jesus also said:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  God so loved the world is inclusively inclusive; whoever believes is an inclusive invitation.

Truth & Life

The onetime carpenter and wandering rabbi from an obscure village said what he said.  The theologians of relativism will continue to debate, discuss and dissemble his assertions.

In the process the words used will take on whatever definitions are required to make their arguments sound weighty or legitimate.  Nowadays, meanings seem to be in constant flux, but with increasing intensity the empirical evidence for Christ transcends intellectual machinations. 

The verdict of eternity will be that Jesus of Nazareth was who he claimed to be; God in the flesh.  The empty tomb is final confirmation; the historical reality of the resurrection magnifies the awesome mystery of the incarnation.  

The promise found swaddled in Bethlehem’s cradle was fulfilled when Christ shattered the chains of sin and death.  He is not legend or myth:  He is alive, real and relevant.  And Jesus still changes lives today for he remains “the way and the truth and the life.”

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Comments 48 comments

Thomas Catmark profile image

Thomas Catmark 6 years ago

Interesting thoughts about Jesus and the Almighty himself. I'm also wondering sometimes what was Jesus thinking? What would he do if... (here I put something that crosses my mind e.g. if he would be born in medieval Europe or in times of great plagues?)


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

The humanistic, existentialistic “many paths to God philosophy” is believed and promoted by many including prominent figures such as Oprah. They insist that all roads will lead ultimately to Rome and thousands of people are buying into it. It is sad really, because the philosophy itself is significantly flawed and has no theological foundation on which to stand.

I agree, support and believe everything reflected in this hub. There is no access to God but only through Christ Jesus, the Son of God.

We pray for our brothers and sisters who have detoured or are traveling a path that may lead them to Rome, but upon arrival they will make the devastating discovery, God is not there.

I choose to believe that along the journey, some misguided souls will stumble across truth, walk the straight and narrow path and in hindsight, wonder to themselves, "What was I thinking?"

Thank you Ken and many blessings!


rocketjsqu profile image

rocketjsqu 6 years ago from Gainesville, NY USA

Ken,

Very thought provoking hub.

Your said: "Who’s to say whether a particular religious tradition has the market cornered on salvation? Shouldn’t we live and let live; allow each group to carve out its niche in the religion market? Only one pathway to God? What was Jesus thinking?"

Salvation is a FREE gift. All we have to do is accept that gift. Nothing we do can change the price of that gift. Free is free! Anything that is free is available to everyone. You become Christian by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savour. What do we need a savour from? Sin! What is sin? Anything that is contrary to Gods commandments. Why do we need to be saved from sin? Because the penalty for sin is death. Since Jesus did not sin, He died in our place to pay the penalty for "our" sin. If we accept Christ as our savour, then his death has paid the penalty for our sins, or takes the place of our death, thus we have eternal life in heaven.

The eternal question that never seems to be answered is: "What are God's commands?" Since people in general can't agree on the answer to that question, then they will never agree on what needs to be done about them.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thomas - Thank you for your good comments. I too let my imagination wander with those kind of questions. Peace & blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

RevLady - Thank you for your very kind words of affirmation. May you be blessed with open doors & new opportunities in all your writing & ministry endeavors.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

rocketjsqu - Thank you for stopping in & sharing comments. You are exactly on target. Blessings & encouragement to you.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

I remember as a child singing in the Sunday school class room "Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so", it didn't get any simpler than that. I was a happy kid and I believed it then just as I do now. We lived in a small mining town at one end of the block was the "Baptist" church and at the other end of the block was the "Southern Baptist" church. I remember attending both churches as I grew up. A year or two at one and then we'd change and attend the other for a while. I didn't understand why back and forth at an early age, it confused me, I like any kid would get attached to a teacher and then all of a sudden I had to go to another church. At around 10 years old sitting in morning service I heard the preacher call out that the Catholics were all going to burn in hell. I sat up and listened as many kids I schooled with were Catholics, as Sundays passed it was the Mormons and then the Methodists. By 11 or 12 I did not want to go to church any more, even at the early age I smelled Hypocrites burning and the innocence of the simple thing that Jesus Loved Me was lost I was confused and it no longer made sense. I knew then the changes of churches were politically based, if you disagree go somewhere else. When the preacher left the old church and a new one came, then the preacher at your present church or the deacons, ticked off my mother or Dad or the boss who my father worked for changed, so did we. It seemed to tangle up to look like a lie to me and I closed my mind and absolutely hated to go. There were many fights between my Dad and me over me not going. I took some whippings for refusing but they were worth not going.

So what is the surprise that kids don't want to go? As kids we understand more than we are given credit for.

I have gone back to the roots of my relationship with Jesus as it was when I was a happy kid singing that song, I sing it now from time to time while I'm doing things around the place. Why? because it really is that simple and if I believe that John 3:16 is truth and I have made my peace with Jesus freely admitting that I am a sinner and it is but he who can set me free as well as introduce me to the Father what can one do to me? Take my life? yeah but only once, and it will then be granted back. I hope I'm singing that song when it is time for me to go, that God finds what it is I'm doing when he comes to be pleasing unto him, not to some hollow church building. I pray for people regularly but if they won't pray for themselves my prayers may be in vain.

Thanks for another good hub on my favorite topic.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

50 Caliber - Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I suspect that your journey is familiar to many. Sad, but true. The old cliche is true: We adult human beings can & do screw up the Lord's Prayer.

Peace & blessings to you.


peacenhim 6 years ago

Another Great Hub!! He's The Way Truth and Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him!! I like what RevLady stated about the Humanistic, existentialist's the many paths to God philosophy. This way of thinking is sweeping the nation and the world. It's the New Age god, who of course many believe are "ourselves. "All paths will get you there as long as You Become the Center of Your Universe and learn the Real You; The Real Spiritual You; and then while in this narcissistic world we've created do as much for others as possible, and by showing "Divine Love and peace".....we will be at a "Higher State" of consciousness and working towards "The mind of Christ" as if He was only an Ascended Master along with Babaji, Afra, Lady Nada, and others. This is the "God Self", the "I Am Presence." What a Lie, and true deception by the angel of light. Sorry New Agers; not buying it!!!

We are all sinners and in need of a Savior! Jesus paid the price so that we all may have Life and Life everlasting, it's a free gift of salvation as we are all but filthy rags and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I believe many will be surprised when the time comes for The separation of the wheat and Tares. Merry Christmas!!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

peacenhim - Thank you for stopping in & sharing. It is the world we live, isn't it? We stand constantly in desperate need of God's grace. And thankfully he has an endless supply.

Merry Christmas.


JJ 6 years ago

As I do respect your beliefs and I enjoy your hubs I do have to disagree on the fact that Jesus is God Almighty. There are TOO many occasions that Jesus speaks of God as a different being and he also told people not to worship him but to worship GOD. If Jesus was in fact GOD then he would have let those worship him. It is obvious that Jesus is Gods son and that he is now King in Heaven. He is just awaiting GOD's time table for GOD to let him know the final hour when it will be time to bring us Salvation. Remember the bible stated that ONLY God knows the hour, and not even Jesus knew. So how could he hide something from himself? Because he isn't God.

Best Wishes My Friend....


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

Sweet message.

Keep on hubbing!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

JJ - Thank you for stopping in & sharing your comments. We will have to respectfully disagree on this point. As I understand Scripture, Jesus was/is God. John 1:1. The whole crux of Christmas is that God became man; it is the mystery & majesty of the Incarnation. Immanuel means God With Us.

Blessings & peace to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

eovery - Thank you very much.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I think we all believe in our own path to God, but in the political world we believe we have to respect the views of others. I'm comfortable with that. I am bothered by those who want to impose their own religion or deny me mine.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

The Gospel is NOT..."seeker friendly"

There is no such thing as "our own path to God"...unless you believe an illusion and are deceived.

"lose your life to find it...deny yourself...carry your cross...love your enemies...bless those who curse you"

none of that is friendly to us.

Messiah did NOT come to remove anything...He came to be a living sacrifice and show us how Torah is lived out day to day because He is the one who gave it.

He did come to oppose all that had tried to change it.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

dahoglund - Thanks for sharing. Respect is huge, but I have noted that respect is a rare commodity nowadays.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

"I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE AND NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME"

~until we accept this, nothing more can be discussed really.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

quietnessandtrust - Thank you for stopping in & sharing your comments.

As I understand Scripture, Jesus came to seek & save - he was God's best revelation of himself, which is why he dispensed grace like it was going out out style. He gave us the pattern for how to live day to day in the rough & tumble of the real world.

If we only discuss or engage with those who already accept Christ, how is that being salt & light?

Peace & blessings to you.


quietnessandtrust profile image

quietnessandtrust 6 years ago from Carbon Canyon, California

I see the question but am not sure if it was directed at me or just part of your statement of understanding.

I know sometimes words can do little to really communicate.

~Shalom


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

I think when you look at Romans 2:11-15, that the concept of truth and acceptance comes through. There are those in the world who have never known or never been taught a Christian message, and there is a means of salvation for them - BUT - for those spiritualist who have heard the message of Christ and rejected it or assimilated it, they are falling into a greater damnation. Good hub Ken


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

quietnessandtrust - It was a rhetorical question as much for me to consider as anything. Peace.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

A.M. Werner - Thanks. That's an excellent referenced in Romans. Some good stuff to think on. Blessings to you.


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

To believe that Jesus is “the only way” to God and eternity is to leave out more than ¾ of the world population.

I choose to believe that Jesus was referring to LOVE as being the WAY to reach God and spread His word.

The way I imagine connecting to God is through using Love as stairways to Him; every gesture of kindness is getting me closer, every good deed is bringing me closer just as fast as every negative thought will set me back and far away from GOD.

If you are a Christian, as I am, loving Jesus is good, but loving and helping each other is even better.


Destined To Win profile image

Destined To Win 6 years ago

Great hub! How true and if only people could understand, as you so masterfully articulated, that Christianity is really not about a religion but rather a marvelous relationship. He is indeed the bridge to God and I am so thankful to have crossed that bridge many years ago. What a wonderful journey. Thanks again for yet another super article.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Petra - Thank you for stopping in & sharing your comments. Much peace & encouragement to you on your faith-journey.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

DTW - Thank you for your kind words of affirmation. Many blessings & much encouragement to you in all your ministry efforts.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Ken, I always enjoy reading your hubs. They always leave me with something to think about. I'm including you in my list to AEvans of nominations for the top hubbers who joined HP in 2009.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

habee - Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragment. Your comments always make me smile & feel good about myself. And thank you for the nomination. I did not know such a thing existed & am honored that you wish to include me for consideration. THANK YOU.


Presigo profile image

Presigo 6 years ago from Spokane, Wa

Thank you for this heart felt reflection on our relationship with God and with each of us with one another. Jesus Christ in our lives is truly a living experience, not an ilde worship. It is a relationship like no other, it is there when we are alone or with others. It is a living breathing relationship of growth for all of us. Beautifully articulated, thank you !


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Presigo - Thank you for your affirming comments. Blessings & encouragement to you.


Presigo profile image

Presigo 6 years ago from Spokane, Wa

Absolutlely my pleasure, you have done well


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

Christianity believes that it is through Jesus alone that we can be saved; that will exclude about ¾ of the world’s population and I just can’t see that as being God’s will.

I choose to believe that when Jesus said “I am the way” he referred to himself as being the unconditional and supreme LOVE.

It is Love and Love alone that will take us closer to God. Every good deed and every gesture of kindness is bringing us closer to The Creator


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you again for your comments. Much peace & encouragement to you on your faith-journey.


sandra rinck 6 years ago

Well. I am not sure that Jesus is the only way. I am not particularly religious though I tend to be 'religious' because I find it extremely fascinating and insightful to look at the depths of humanity and the things we do and our own personal frustrations, our desire to do what is good when life is so complicated and we are faced with choices that don't always do good for everyone.

I don't know what sin is because they vary from religion to religion. I am likely to say, there is no such thing as sin as it is communicated to mean something akin to breaking 'gods' laws or something.

Yet when I reflect and apply the philosophy of Christ it would seem that sin doesn't exist anymore and what we are left with is life. Not just any life but a life that requires discernment and the inevitable (at least for me) desire to quench my thirst for the truth wherever I can find it.

I admit, (though I mean no offense whatsoever) I don't literally believe that Jesus is god or that God is something tangible, definable or something that is required of us to worship since in my mind and in my heart; how can you worship what isn't exactly definable.

In my long but short summary, I think that the most important command, if you will is the first but not in the sense meaning that you have to worship Jesus Christ or something like that or even God by making sacrifices or something.

It's sits with me that 'god' is whatever you heart seems drawn to know. That mystery that no one can ever really explain, our admiration for something that dwarfs us so completely that the only undeniable circumstance is that (to me)...

God was never meant to be defined in idealistic terms. Like you said, "what was he thinking?" Of course being gnostic, a complicated but simple understanding for me when it comes to god is that;

The only perfection ever crafted was in imperfections and the ability to change. In my heart and mind, Jesus was saying that "we are perfect even if we have no idea what we do."

He is saying, give them the chance and they will seek it out, let them become their own demise because in our hearts remains a star. Like a beacon, we know where we want to go but we aren't really sure where we are at to begin with.

Anyways, I am rambling on and on.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Sandra - Thank you for sharing your thoughtful & interesting comments. Peace & blessings to you.


KellyEngaldo 6 years ago

Great hub. I believe Jesus was thinking straight, the humans who did the translation were not thinking straight or "translating" straight.

Jesus was very clear - love God with all your might, love others as yourself. The only sin that is not forgiven is the closed heart.

Loved the questioning! Very well done!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Kelly - Thank you for your affirming & encouraging comments. Peace & blessings to you.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 6 years ago from India

Hi Ken,

For me though i do not belong to Christianity and don't understand much about it, but religion is faith and when you have faith you don't ask questions. It is like a very small kid listening to his father about how to fly kite or when his father says jump and i would catch u in air, he jumps having faith his dad would catch him in midair and no harm would come to him.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

sweetie1 - Thank you for stopping in & sharing your comments. Very interesting. Peace & blessings to you.


Pastor_Walt profile image

Pastor_Walt 6 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

This is a great hub and very well written. Thanks for the message.

"Christ is the only bridge that can span the chasm to reconnect us to God."

Grace and Peace to you!


Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I enjoyed this hub very much, and this includes the terrific thread you have generated - such thoughtful comments!

Having said that, respectfully speaking of course, since Jesus did the will of the Father, was not it God the Father who made the plan which Jesus the Son followed? Therefore, should not your title have read, “What was the God the Father Thinking?” When we see that this was to be the LAST sacrifice, it makes sense, even though it would be SO painful for a Father to sacrifice His Son. What great love is thereby witnessed, even now.

Peace, Good Tidings.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Walt - Thank you for your kind words of affirmation. Peace & blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Timothy - Thanks for your encouraging comments. Along with some fodder to make me think a bit. Peace & blessings to you.


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

Another wonderful hub.

I'm not surprised; yours are always full of Truth and wisdom, Ken.

Praise to the Name above all names---Jesus!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, Brenda. And amen - praise to the name above all names.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

This is very good writing Ken. I will visit often.

I'm a fan.

Thanks for stopping by my hubs too. Appreciate your prayers.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Stan. Blessings & much encouragement to you.

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