Jesus Christ said:
I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and AND LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME [John 14:6].
What did he mean by that most revolutionary and historical statement?????
I have seen in gospel circles this statement of Jesus Christ being used to profess monopoly of Christianity over other religions and put down other faiths in the world. That is the reason why we have to discuss that particular statement of Jesus Christ at length over here.
I always wondered what actually Jesus Christ meant. I studied the whole 66 books of the Holy Bible with respect and devotion and came to the following conclusions.
My conclusions are:
1---Jesus Christ was saying that to masses and his pagan apostles who had no Jewish religious education, and that was the reason why he did not elaborate on most of his statements.
Jews who believe there is ONE AND ONLY GOD and that is Jehovah scorned at that statement of Jesus Christ. They do not see Jesus Christ as GOD or as SON OF GOD. Jews are still waiting for the promised messiah by St. Isaiah.
2---Jesus Christ's main mission on earth was to save the Jews from the misery and fulfill the Law of the Prophets [Judaism] and not to abolish them [Matthew 5:17] It was not his intention to start a separate religion from Judaism. It was his apostles, specially St. Paul and later Roman emperor Constantine who made Christianity what it is today.
3-- What Jesus said was exactly the same, what Lord Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita.
4 -Lord Krishna said:
" THOSE WHO WORSHIP OTHER GODS AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP THEM WITH FAITH, ARE ACTUALLY WORSHIPING ME. I AM THE RECEIVER OF ALL DEVOTION [GITA 9:23] EVEN A MAN WITH WORST KARMAS WILL NOT PERISH IF HE BECOMES MY DEVOTEE [GITA 9:30,31]
5-- LORD KRISHNA also said in the Bhagavad Gita I AM THE SOURCE OF ALL SPIRITUAL & MATERIAL WORLDS.
EVERYTHING EMANATES FROM ME [GITA 10:8]
EVERYTHING IS BORN OF ME. I AM THE ORIGINAL SOURCE OF ALL. NO ONE IS ABOVE ME [GITA 12:6, 7]
6-----Why Jesus Christ, Lord Krishna and Buddha etc talked similarly???
Since all of them were embodiments of the Absolute known as JEHOVAH in Judaism and BRAHMAN in Hinduism.
7--In the Bhagavad Gita, when Krishna said WORSHIP ME and ADORE ME, he did not mean that people should worship the Gopi-idol Lord Krishna, but the ONE AND ONLY GOD BRAHMAN, which has no form and no name.
That is the reason why, Lord Krishna showed to Arjuna VISHWA-ROOPA [ FORM WITH OUT ANY FORM COMPRISING OF PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE] Krishna showed VISWA ROOPA since warrior prince Arjuna repeatedly asked the question WHO ARE YOU??
8----As per the Bhagavad Gita, GOD WILL COME IN HUMAN FORM OR NON-HUMAN FORM, WHEN EVER THE WORLD IS TROUBLE and Hindus call that AVATARS. Lord Buddha came to eradicate evils in Hindu society. Jesus Christ came to help Jews to eradicate their misery.
9----AVATARS are not limited to Hindus or India. It happens world wide. Jesus Christ was indeed an Avatar came to take care of the problems of the Jews. CHRIST WAS THE ANSWER OF ALL THE CRIES OF JEWS FOR CENTURIES. Of course Christ still is the answer who cries to Almighty in the form of Jesus Christ. God is Spirit according to JOHN-4 and PSALM 139 and that SPIRIT came in the form of FLESH in Jesus Christ.
10----In the Holy Bible, there are several verses in which Jesus indirectly claiming to be God. There are ALSO several indications in the synoptic gospels that Jesus did not claim to be God.
For example, at the end on the cross he cried: MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAS THOU FORSAKEN ME? [MARK 15:34] All through the book of Acts, for instance, Christ was regarded as the instrument of God, but not God himself.
11--In the Epistle of Colossians call Christ: THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD. Some verses in the Corinthians say: CHRIST HAS THE MIND OF GOD.
On one side, Christ is described as THE GOD and still on other side; he is described as the SON OF GOD? My answer: THAT SHOWS ONLY THE DIFFICULTY OF EXPLAINING SUBTLE NATURE OF GODHEAD.
12--Christ was stating I AM GOD as well as I AM SON OF GOD etc to show to the world that he is indeed AN AVATAR like Lord Krishna and Lord Buddha.
My point is that, the statement of Jesus Christ I AM THE WAY, one can see in all religious scriptures of the world. So, whatever you see in the Bible is not unique to the Holy Bible.
Someone WROTE to me: "All other religions state " works" [human efforts] as THE way to reach God; But only in Christianity you see God coming and taking care of men."
MY ANSWER: The principle of GRACE you describe one can also see in Hinduism especially in the devotion part of Hinduism. Lord Krishna states that HE HIMSELF TAKE THE BURDEN OF KARMIC DEBT OF A DEVOTEE WHO SURRENDERS HIMSELF HIS WILL TO THE WILL OF GOD. So once again, I do not see any uniqueness in the Bible.
Someone STATED: Jesus Christ gave up his life for the sins of men and Christianity will crumble if he was not who he said he was as per St. Paul."
MY ANSWER: Words of Christ are very difficult to interpret and as a converted Christian from Judaism, St. Paul indeed wrote many things as he saw and understood them. St. Paul is referring to the ORIGINAL SIN but Jesus Christ has not dealt much with ORGINAL SIN in the four gospels.
I do not think, Christ ever wanted himself to be worshiped in any manner. Time and again he said that IT IS HIS FATHER IN HEAVEN WHO IS GOOD.
The worship of Jesus Christ is actually started as cult of Judaism, propagated by St. Paul and later by Roman Emperor Constantine by TRINITY worship. There is nothing wrong in worshiping Jesus Christ, like Buddhists worshiping Buddha and Hindus worshiping Krishna etc.
Some one WROTE: [ If you go to Krishna's grave, you will find Krishna's bones; If you go to Buddha's grave, you'll find Buddha's bones: If you go to Mohammed's grave, you'll find Mohammed's bones. If you go to Christ's grave, you'll find an empty tomb!]
ANSWER: With all due respect to the deity of Jesus Christ, I can write volumes on resurrection.
1. Hindus believe that Lord Krishna never died and he rose to heaven with his body. YOU WILL NOT FIND THE GRAVE OF KRISHNA IN INDIA. Krishna never died, instead left for his heavenly palace called VAIKUNTA as per Srimad Mahabhagavata.
2. Lord Buddha also left the body but THERE IS NO BURIAL GROUND ANY WHERE IN THE WORLD, WITH BUDDHA'S NAME ON IT. That is the belief system of Buddhists.
3. Similarly, RESURRECTION OF CHRIST is A part and parcel of Christian belief system. No secular historian has admitted that to be a fact. In fact, world historian H. G. Wells wrote, "IT IS RUMORED....."
If one studies Holy Bible along with other Holy scriptures of other religions, one will have a better understanding of the immortal words of the Jesus Christ.
Once again, when Christ said I AM THE WAY, he did not mean that "I AM" is limited to his body but the "I AM" he is referring to is the ONE AND ONLY GOD BRAHMAN or JEHOVAH.
The inner soul or ATMAN is the mirror image of the GOD. In Hindu salvation, one is trying to realize that HE IS THE IMMORTAL SOUL WITHIN and not the perishable body. That is the reason why I am very much interested in the thought provoking statement of Christ I AM THE WAY. [www.amiahindu.com]