In the Gospel of John chapter 8, Jesus makes audacious claims about Himself and God His Father, including offending critical statements towards his Jewish brethren who are also claiming God the Father as their own God and Father. In the heated exchange, Jesus not only declares Himself to be the One the Father sent, but speaks both “politically and religiously in-correct” when declaring that their father is the devil because they wanted to kill Him for His claims. Wow! Today, if Jesus was a “Christian” in America publicly witnessing about Christ in such an audacious way and fervor, he would be seriously accused of being an unloving narrow-minded extremist, religious bigot, and people would hate Him, again.
It is one thing for the world to struggle with Jesus’ seemingly audacious claims to be the Light of the World and the only Way to the Father, but unfortunately, there are those in the Church today who also struggle with the narrowness of Jesus’s Words and the boldness of His public proclamations, insisting on a more socially-politically acceptable approach to evangelism, which is hamstringing and in some-cases castrating the zeal of the Lord among His own people, replacing radical evangelism with religious ecumenism, quenching the fire and dulling the sword that was given to the Church, in an attempt to appeal to the more open-minded general public and perhaps the young who have been taught a secular globalist worldview and to seek a socialist or progressive utopia. Such a witness, I believe is more compatible with universalism or the false notion that the various descendants of Abraham, i.e. Jews and Muslims, share the same faith, whose leaders meanwhile, make primary, distinct, and separate claims to God, denying His Son as the Holy One through whom they must now acceptably come to God, which was Jesus’ audacious claim. For Jews and Muslims, the denial is expected, but for Christians, such a position is a denial of the Truth and a rationalized attempt to ironically avoid the cross in the name of Christ.
If Jesus Christ had the audacity to truthfully and purposely declare Himself as the Son of God the Father, the only Way Truth and Life, to others who also claimed God as their own, especially His own Jewish brethren, then why would Christian’s be hesitant and timid to publicly declare Him the same to anybody, unless it is because we are afraid of suffering persecution for His Name or lack the secure identity confidence of Christ as sons and daughters of God His Father? Jesus said, “My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. You do not know Him, but I know Him. If I said I did not know Him, I would be a liar like you. ” – John 8:54-55. How audacious!
And yet, our having the same audacity to claim to know God and His Son, and declare Jesus Christ as the Way Truth and Life to those who presently oppose Him, provides those same hearers the same blessed opportunity we had to come to a saving knowledge of God through His Son, in order that they too might not perish but receive Eternal Life. Isn’t this what Jesus did? Is this not the Gospel? Should we not also have such audacity in our love for our fellow man, if we really believe they need to be saved? Let us pray!