Jesus said to him,
Is Jesus, as the only ( begotten ) Son of the Father, truly the ONLY avenue through which humanity can approach the Creator God, as we have been led to believe? Jesus WAS the Messiah of Israel; there is no doubt about that, assuming one believes the Scriptures, of course, but wasn't He more than that? Jesus was a Man; that is true enough, but He was also God, this having been the subject of many councils over the ages, ever since the biblical record ended in the first century. Being a Man, but also God; Jesus was sent ( anointed ) to be the True King of the Jews: He came to 'save His people from their sins.' One question we should ask ourselves here is, 'who are His people? To whom did Jesus present Himself as Savior & King? Was it not Covenant Israel in the first century A.D.? Yes, it included both Jews & Gentiles, but the fact that the biblical record never indicates Jesus went outside the borders of & that his disciples never evangelized beyond the borders of the Roman Empire should tell us who the biblical Jews & Gentiles were!
Christian missions, since the days of Jesus & His disciples ( first century ) have expanded the borders of what is called Christendom over the entire globe! Their message was & is met with some resistance, more in some place than others, to varying degrees of success. In many places, the missionaries found themselves fighting for their lives: some still do! In other places, the Gospel message was erroneously force-fed to those they thought beneath them, uncivilized, one might say. 'In the Name of Christ' is a phrase that has been used to justify acts of murder & other atrocities. Even though many of the ways in which it was accomplished leave much to be desired when it comes to be a true follower of the Christ; the Gospel, or the Good News of Salvation has been broadcast over the entire globe since the time of Jesus!
Most modern missionaries, unfortunately, rather than endeavoring to simply share this Good News, strive ( to whatever extent ) to spread their particular religion! Since their religion, or their interpretation of the Gospel, is the only true one, it behooves them to spread that version of the Truth & no other. One must believe, in a sense, that Jesus, the King, or Messiah of the Jews, was THE Christ, the only ( begotten ) Son of the Father. Such, according to the Greek & Aramaic Scriptures, is verifiably true, although, one must almost wring this out of the Hebrew Scriptures. There are certain passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Prophets in particular ( Isaiah 7:13, et al ) that seem to indicate that the coming Messiah would be none other than the Creator God Himself, though embodied in humanity. One must take these words, however, in the context in which they were given!
The passage in question, Isaiah 7:13 ( 9:6 ), which reads, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel', indicates, if anything, that Hezekiah was to be a forerunner of Jesus the Messiah! In fact of the matter, in some sense, anyway, Hezekiah might almost be called a Messiah of Israel. The writer of the Gospel according to Matthew later employed this passage as prophesying of Jesus. This is not a wrong application, but the original audience of this promise demands that this Messiah, born of a 'virgin', must have been the son of Ahaz, not merely a prophecy of the Christ to come!
Hezekiah was a type of the Christ, or Jesus the Messiah, one of the many we find scattered throughout the Hebrew Scriptures! By the time of Jesus the Messiah, things had progressed to the point, according to the Scriptures, that Israel, under that first [ covenant ] had proven themselves unable to faithfully govern themselves. They took the Law they had been given & forcing upon it their own interpretation, even adding to it ( Revelation 22:18 ) doctrines of men, they had set themselves & their quasi-law as the way, the truth & the life. Jesus showed through His Life Death & Resurrection that He, as God With Us, was everything they claimed to be & More!
As the Son of the Creator God, in all reality, the Creator God Himself, we understand that Jesus came to save Israel from their sins, the sin of rejecting, not only Jesus as Messiah, but all the previous messengers that had been anointed of God & sent to them when they strayed from the path. Much of modern Christianity has anachronistically brought those sins into our time, far separated from that of the original audience, laying them upon their own heads, indeed, upon the heads of all humanity!
This is not to say that people no longer sin, or miss the mark ( what mark? ), for there are obviously many who still reject the Christ Within! Jesus was 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life' for Covenant Israel, according to the Scriptures: arguably, He is Same for the entire Created Order, though not necessarily as the Christ of the Bible. As I have recently proposed in this blog, the title Christ is not one borne by Jesus alone. Being a title, it is significant of our innermost being, one which we choose, in our humanity, to manifest or not. The Manifestation of the Christ Within, or the Chrism, or Anointing is upon us all, yet some choose to squelch their innermost being. As Jesus Himself said, 'he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful' ( Matthew 13:22 ). This Word of the Creator God, or His Law, as the Scriptures also tell us, is written on our hearts ( Hebrews 8:10 ( Jeremiah 31:33 ), in other words, our innermost being. We fail to manifest the Christ Within when we allow, as in the parable Jesus related, the cares of this world to overcome that Seed that lies within us!
Again, Jesus WAS Israel's Messiah! He came to show them that it was the Manifestation or Revelation of the Christ, the Son of God, not their Law written in stone, that was 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life'! Though our English Bible holds many Universal Truths, it is by no means the only Revelation of the Son of God! We hold these Truths to be self-evident, though we do not always manifest them. It is when we set our Ego aside that we realize in our Innermost Being, who we really are & who God is; THEN we understand the truth of what the Psalmist wrote: '' ( Psalm 46:10 )
Charles Haddon Shank