When the airplane pilot guides his craft into the airport, he does so with precision. The guy at Air Traffic Control doesn’t say, “land anywhere ya want!” The pilot lands in the middle of the prescribed runway. If I’m a passenger, I’m grateful for a narrow-minded pilot.
When the dentist is about to extract a tooth, the patient wouldn’t say, “Just take any of them, doc. You pick!” The highly skilled oral surgeon examines the x-rays and is certain that it’s the upper-left molar ... not the lower right incisor.
And when the apprentice electrician is hooking up his first breaker box, the boss doesn’t say, “Grab a wire, any wire, and cram it in there...” That would be shocking!
There is a time to be open-minded, tolerant of other ideas, and inclusive.
Jesus was narrow-minded about eternally important matters.
On the night before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples what to expect. They were defeated and discouraged... soon they would be abandoned.
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3, CSB).
With these comforting words, Jesus encouraged them... and us.
The conversation continued. “ ‘You know the way to where I am going.’ “Lord,’ Thomas said, ‘we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?’ ” (John 14:4-5, CSB).
Thomas asked a great question. “How do we get to heaven?”
Exclusive, narrow-minded Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, CSB).
Jesus also said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, CSB).
I want to be certain that I travel the right path and that I enter the right gate! Jesus directs us to go the Way, and to know the Truth that leads to Life.
The world says that there are many paths that lead to heaven. Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu... it doesn’t matter... any and every sincere belief will get you there... one’s as good as the next. But the Bible teaches that you can be sincerely religious and seriously wrong.
Jesus didn’t say, “If you get dunked in the baptistery, you’re in!”
He didn’t say, “If you put enough money in the offering plate, you’re good to go!”
Jesus said, “God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, CSB).
Exclusive, narrow-minded Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, CSB).