“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.“
What a great verse to share with people who are searching for answers, who feel a void in their lives that they just can’t fill. The picture Jesus paints of peace and contentment that is found in a relationship with him is beautiful.
You might be afraid to use this verse. What if people object to the idea that Jesus is the door and that people have to enter by him to be saved. Aren’t there other ways to be right with God?
The exclusivity of Jesus Christ is a very controversial issue today, isn’t it? In fact, my own extended family doesn’t agree about eternal death apart from faith in Jesus alone. That’s not all that surprising; but listen, as kids we were raised in the same church denomination. We even went to the same Bible college. So now as an adult, how should I interact with my family members who know the gospel but believe something different than me about what the gospel says?
It’s one thing for a Hindu or a Muslim to reject Jesus as the only way to find redemption for sin and experience the abundant life internal. It’s easier because we expect to hear that from them, right? We mentally and emotionally prepare for it as part of cultivating the witnessing lifestyle.
But within the broad institution of the church today, the lines are blurred, and people are beginning to question whether there could really in fact be eternal damnation apart from the saving grace of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Our culture today screams inclusivity. For example, we are taught that when you are working on a team there is no individualism. We share everything on Facebook because we love the community. In an effort to find peace as a community, we don’t, or at least we shouldn’t, discriminate against those who are different from us. And our culture socially punishes behaviours that rebuke the minority. As a result, we, as followers of Jesus, can so easily become indifferent to the exclusiveness of Jesus and water down the truth of the gospel to make it more palatable. We must not. If we do, then what? Would we then still see the saving power of the gospel transform people’s lives? Certainly not.
So how should I interact with someone who finds this verse about the exclusiveness of Jesus Christ to be an obstacle to their faith in Him? Should I speak and potentially cause relational tension, or not speak and potentially keep an artificial form of peace? Even when I speak about Jesus being the only way to a right relationship with God I must remember that Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Never forget that the exclusiveness of Christ in John 10:9-10 is the source of humanity’s overwhelming hope. These verses help humanity understand the meaning behind why the world is in so much pain, and it guides the pursuit of a human’s search for happiness & true purpose.
Might I challenge you today to act wisely, making the most use of the time. Always be full of grace, season your speech with salt. And focus on using John 10:9-10 to share the hope, meaning, happiness and purpose you’ve found in Jesus Christ with those relationships with people who have never yet heard the gospel.
When sharing these beautiful verses with people who are searching, don’t assume they will object to this verse and feel like you need to make all the explanations about his exclusivity. Rather, just share what the verse shares, that if a person is struggling to find peace and contentment because of the brokenness in their lives, they will find only find those things in Jesus. Then share what Jesus has meant to you.