Have you ever heard someone say something like, “Jesus is only one of many spiritual teachers or mystical masters. To say Jesus is ‘the only way’ is naive at best and narrow-minded and worst.”
The person who says this is misinformed. Even a quick read of the Gospel accounts shows that Jesus knew Himself to be God in the flesh, on a mission to redeem a sinful human race. Jesus does not give His hearers the option to view Him otherwise.
John 8:58 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
In this statement, Jesus claims to exist, as God, before Abraham (his earthly ancestor) was born. This claim to pre-existence places him above the human plane and points to His divinity.
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
In this declaration, Jesus claims absolute unity with God.
Luke 22:70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
In this statement from his trial, Jesus confesses to His “Only Begotten” Son” status with God.
In this account of Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man, He forgave the man’s sin first. Those watching exclaimed, “This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” whereupon Jesus stated that He could forgive the man’s sin in the same way that He would heal the man’s paralysis. Jesus was thus equating Himself with God.
Matt. 7:22-23 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
In this prophecy, Jesus shows that He will be the judge of all humanity and history—an office only God can fill.
John 14:1 & 6 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me … Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Here, Jesus does not claim to show the way; He says that He is the way to Father God, something that places Him apart from swamis and other spiritual guides. Here, Jesus does not say that He will teach the truth; He says that He is the truth—again something a mere teacher would not say. Here, Jesus does not say that He will give life, but that He is the life—a claim far beyond what humans can deliver. Jesus is making claims to divinity here as well.
Matt. 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”
In these words, Jesus discounts any other person who may teach a different way than He does. Anyone else claiming to provide a path to enlightenment is thus disqualified.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.
In these statements by his followers (The Apostle John, Luke the Physician, The Apostle Paul) Jesus’ uniqueness as God in the flesh and as the one way for humanity to reach God is affirmed.
Jesus is not like any other. We must deal with Jesus’ own “narrow mindedness” about how we can connect with God as a result. Either He is who He claims to be, or He is not.