“Jesus is a real problem,” I said to a man I had just met in a hotel lobby. He was sitting with his wife and two very attractive children. When I learned that he was from India, I told him how much I had enjoyed my visits to his homeland.
In short order, we identified ourselves as Christian and Hindu, respectively. He quickly suggested that all religions were the same and that all roads lead to heaven as they do to Timbuktu. It was then that I made my comment about Jesus. It took him by surprise and gave me the opportunity to attempt an explanation: “Hindus believe in multiple incarnations, and Christians believe that the incarnation of Jesus was a unique and unrepeatable event. Surely we can’t both be right.”
The exclusive claims of Jesus create a real challenge to the “many roads” perspective that is increasingly accepted by our friends and neighbors. What are we to make of Jesus’ fantastic statement at the beginning of Mark, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (1:15)? Jesus declares that HE is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). In His coming, the words of the prophets have come alive in Him.
Phillips Brooks captured this reality well in his carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” when he wrote the line “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” As we reach the end of what has been the “strangest of years,” we find in Jesus the answer to all the fears, longings, and hopelessness of our time. Perhaps the predictions are right and we may not be able to buy Christmas presents due to lack of supply. What a wonderful opportunity to tell our friends and families that the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! The supply never runs out.
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in.
With my love in the Lord Jesus and prayers for you and your family to have a blessed Christmas,