Thursday, September 26, 2019

How Do We Know We Are Right?

“Poppy, how do we know we are right?” My grandson asked me that question recently at our family’s Sunday lunch. We were all sitting there, and he just randomly asked that question.

As I talked further with him to determine what he meant, I discovered he is wrestling with a question that has been posed to Christians since the very beginning of the Christian movement. My grandson wanted to know about the other faiths that he is encountering in his world. What about them? What if they are right and we are wrong?

That question has led to an open dialogue we are continuing to have. It is a worthwhile conversation. Years ago, I was in a village in rural Bangladesh engaged in a conversation with a Muslim Imam and a Hindu Priest ---- these men asked me the very same question. The Muslim cleric looked at me and asked, “On what authority do you base your exclusive claims of Christianity?”

In a day marked by tolerance and a general attitude of “whatever” – this is a challenging question. It can be posed differently depending on the circumstances. The real essence of the matter is this: Is Christianity the only true representation of the eternal God? Or, asked another way: Are all religions true?

Regardless of how one poses the question, the concern surrounds the exclusive claims of the Christian faith. Here is what I am discussing with my grandson---JESUS! That is right—Jesus.

Jesus is what separates us from all other religious expressions. We are followers of Jesus. We have read His teachings. We have examined His claims. We believe He is Who He says He is! Jesus Christ has changed everything.

Take a moment and reflect on some of what He said about Himself:

Luke 4:21 – Jesus visited his hometown synagogue in Nazareth and read a Messianic passage from the scroll of Isaiah. After the public reading of this passage, he sat down in front of all the congregation and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

John 4:26 – Jesus was visiting with a Samaritan woman at a well and she told Him that one day the Messiah would come, and He would explain everything to His people. Jesus replied to her with this bold declaration, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

John 8:58 – Jesus was in a discussion with the Pharisees and leading Jews of His day. They challenged Him by claiming that Abraham was their father and He was certainly not greater than Abraham. Jesus told them that Abraham rejoiced at the knowledge that one day His day would come. These leaders were shocked and rebuked Jesus by telling Him that he was not even 50 years old ---- how could He possibly know anything about what Abraham knew or didn’t know. Jesus boldly proclaimed, “Before Abraham was born, I am!”

John 10:30 – Jesus was in Jerusalem for the celebration of Hanukah and the Jews began to ask Him about His claims to be the Messiah. Jesus challenged them to examine the evidence of His life and then He announced, “I and the Father are one.”

John 14:6 – On the final night of His earthly life prior to the crucifixion, Jesus was instructing His disciples. He offered them comfort and hope. In the midst of this historic and insightful conversation, He declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I could go on. But the reason we believe Christianity’s claims are exclusive is because of Jesus! He claimed to be the Messiah. He claimed to be eternal. He claimed to be God in the flesh. He claimed to be the only way to God. These are bold claims! Either they are true or false.

We are staking our eternity on Jesus Himself. We believe He is Who He says He is. He is the authority who makes these exclusive claims. So, I am helping my grandson to fully understand Who Jesus is! He is the eternal, glorious, resurrected, ascended Son of God. He is the only way to the Father. He is The Life. He is The Truth. He is The Way. It is not so much that we are right ---- it is that He is right!

Consequently, we live our lives each day with our eyes fixed on Jesus!