“”Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where You’re going. How can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through Me.”“ John 14:5-6.
One of the greatest and longest lasting accomplishments of the Roman Empire was its road system. The ancient Roman engineers developed methods for building roads that are still, in some form or another, used today. The way we measure distances today, in miles, was first measured out and set as the standard for measuring distances between towns by the Romans. However, most important aspect of the ancient Roman road system was that it connected the entire empire; whether you were in North Africa, Palestine, or Europe, you still had access to these roads and could travel to any other area in the empire. At the heart of the vast road system was the city of Rome itself, meaning you could reach Rome from anywhere in the empire–from here we get the phrase “all roads lead to Rome.”
Spiritually speaking, all roads do not lead to Rome; perhaps it would be better said that all roads do not lead to Heaven. Christ makes it quite clear to Thomas that there is no other alternative to reaching God in Heaven “except through Me.” Christ alone is the way.
If Christ is the only way to Heaven, why does humanity still look for alternative ways? Quite frankly, because it is easier to look for a different way to Heaven than it is to follow Christ. Committing to Jesus is hard; when we do so, we are committing to a life of self-denial and service to others. It is a commitment to doing His will instead of our own. Christ made it quite clear to us that it would not be easy. “The world hates me,” He said, “ and they will hate you as well.” We saw how the world treated Jesus when He was here; He wants us to remember that we should expect the same treatment.
A popular misconception pervading throughout the world today is that only following the moral teachings of Christ, but not believing He is the Son of God who died for us, is good enough to achieve some sort of reward after this life. That is to say, if we treat others the way Christ taught us to, then that’s all we have to do to be good people. True, following Christ’s teachings on morality will make you a good person, but that’s it. Christ said it Himself, “Unless you believe that I am He, the one sent from God, then you will die in your sins.”
But it’s not easy for people to believe that, to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, to believe that He is the only way to God. The world wants us to think that trying to be a good person is enough to please God. The world wants us to put Jesus in the same category we put men like Buddha, or Gandhi, or Deepak Chopra–that He is merely a good man with good moral values, and nothing more. The world certainly doesn’t think that Jesus is the Son of God, nor does the world want us to either.
But the truth of the matter is this: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to Earth to die so that we may have eternal life with God. He has called us to follow Him, but this call will be heard by many and heeded by few. Christ alone is the way to God. There is no other way to Heaven. Though it is not an easy journey here on Earth, He is with us all the way, and our reward will await us in Heaven. The poet Robert Frost once wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Christ is the road less traveled, and following Him will make all the difference–in this world and the next.