Used with Permission - Joel Smith - 18 Para

[Christ the "Only Way]
What do Baha'is believe about Jesus assertion "I am the way..."? In my opinion Baha'is believe that this statement is the truth. But, there may be more to this statement than modern Christians realize (30:1)

Many Christians today look back at the Jews who rejected Jesus 2000 years ago and wonder how those people could have been so blind. Even Jesus commented on their lack of insight. He said: "This people draweth nigh unto me (the Messiah) with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men... they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch." (Matthew 15:14 (KJV)) (30:2) see

The Jewish clergy had totally misinterpreted the Messianic promises. The clear insight of these experts had become blindness. These "blind leaders of the blind" had led their followers "into the ditch" of misunderstanding and rejection. Because they had denied Jesus as the Messiah the faith of these people, which originally was true, now was pronounced by Jesus to be "in vain". These incorrect interpretations carried a high price. They cost John the Baptist his head and they got Jesus nailed to a cross (30:3)

Jesus wanted his followers to understand how this had happened so they could hopefully avoid repeating these same mistakes themselves. He cautioned Christians to "beware the leaven of the Pharisees". (see Mat 16:6, Mrk 8:15, Luk 105:1) (30:4) see

When questioned, Jesus explained that he wasn't talking about yeast or about bread. Instead, what he meant by this curious phrase was that the Jewish religious leaders had replaced the original "doctrines" of God with the "commandments of men." And, that through the years, these false interpretations of men had gradually taken the rightful place of the true law of God. This is what Jesus counseled his followers, of whatever era, to avoid (30:5)

What lessons can people today learn from these mistakes of the past? Can we be certain that God's other chosen people, the Christians, aren't repeating these same mistakes right now? How can we know? What did Jesus say? Jesus knew what the future was going to bring and, sadly enough, he knew that his followers would also be deceived by the leaven of "false prophets". Jesus predicted that: "false Christs, and false prophets will appear and shall perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect (Eklektous = chosen)." (Matthew 24:24 (NIV)) (30:6) see

A similar warning was also given by Peter. In this statement Peter evidently refers to one of Jesus' more famous pronouncements. Jesus said: "I am the way (Hodos)... no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 RSV) The word that is translated here as "way" comes from the original Greek word Hodos. This word means "road" or "highway". In other words Jesus was claiming that he is the true road or highway that leads to the Father. Notice that Jesus doesn't say that he is the only way to the Father. Certainly God had sent other Prophets in the past. Can anyone doubt that Abraham, Moses and the Hebrew Prophets weren't also from God and that they weren't also part of this "highway" process? (30:7) see

Peter warns, in his writings, that because of "false prophets" this "true way" or true road of Jesus' will be abandoned. Peter wrote: "Israel had false prophets as well as true; and you (Christians) likewise will have false teachers among you. They will import disastrous heresies... They will gain many adherents to their dissolute practices, through whom the true way (Hodos) will be brought into disrepute... They have abandoned the straight road (Hodos) and lost their way (Hodos)." (2 Peter 2:1 (NEB)) (31:1) see

Notice how Peter phrases this statement. He doesn't say that the possibility exists that "false teachers" could arise or that they may arise. Instead he states, without any doubt, that they both "will" appear and that they "will gain many adherents". Like the "leaven of the Pharisees" which had blinded the Jewish people in the past, Peter warns that "false teachers" will likewise "import disastrous heresies" into Christianity and that because of these "disastrous heresies" the "true way" of Jesus will be "brought into disrepute" and it will be "abandoned." These "blind leaders of the blind" will "deceive" the "elect" of Christianity with "great signs and miracles" and lead them off of the true road and into the ditch of misinterpretation and misunderstanding (31:2)

Ask yourself, did Jesus and Peter know what they were talking about or were they mistaken? Have "false teachers" appeared within Christianity? Have false interpretations of men once again taken the rightful place of the true law of God? Has the "true way" been "abandoned?" Most Christians either hope that this really hasn't happened or they somehow feel that Jesus and Peter couldn't possibly have been speaking about them (31:3)

Consider, over the last two thousand years Christianity has grown to encompass the entire world. Today there are literally hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of different denominations that call themselves Christian. Each one has it's own distinctive beliefs, interpretations and practices. Yet each one assumes that they have the truth. Can they all be right? How many have been led off of the true Hodos and into the ditch? (31:4)

Jesus said that he was the true "way" which leads to the Father. And he taught his followers to pray "our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come... on earth...." Jesus came to prepare his followers to expect the coming of his Father's Kingdom on earth (31:5)

To these statements Baha'u'llah responds " Say, O followers of the Son! Have ye shut out yourselves from Me by reason of My Name? Wherefore ponder ye not in your hearts? Day and night ye have been calling upon your Lord, the Omnipotent, but when He came from the heaven of eternity in His great glory, ye turned aside from Him and remained sunk in heedlessness (31:6)

Consider those who rejected the Spirit (Jesus) when He came unto them with manifest dominion. How numerous the Pharisees who had secluded themselves in synagogues in His name, lamenting over their separation from Him, and yet when the portals of reunion were flung open and the divine Luminary shone resplendent from the Dayspring of Beauty, they disbelieved in God, the Exalted, the Mighty. They failed to attain His presence, notwithstanding that His advent had been promised them in the Book of Isaiah as well as in the Books of the Prophets and the Messengers. No one from among them turned his face towards the Dayspring of divine bounty except such as were destitute of any power amongst men. And yet, today, every man endowed with power and invested with sovereignty prideth himself on His Name. Moreover, call thou to mind the one who sentenced Jesus to death. He was the most learned of His age in His own country, whilst he who was only a fisherman believed in Him. Take good heed and be of them that observe the warning... (31:7)

They read the Evangel and yet refuse to acknowledge the All-Glorious Lord, notwithstanding that He hath come through the potency of His exalted, His mighty and gracious dominion. We, verily, have come for your sakes, and have borne the misfortunes of the world for your salvation. Flee ye the One Who hath sacrificed His life that ye may be quickened? Fear God, O followers of the Spirit (Jesus), and walk not in the footsteps of every divine that hath gone far astray. Do ye imagine that He seeketh His own interests, when He hath, at all times, been threatened by the swords of the enemies; or that He seeketh the vanities of the world, after He hath been imprisoned in the most desolate of cities? Be fair in your judgement and follow not the footsteps of the unjust (31:8)

Open the doors of your hearts. He Who is the Spirit verily standeth before them. Wherefore banish ye Him Who hath purposed to draw you nigh unto a Resplendent Spot? Say: We, in truth, have opened unto you the gates of the Kingdom. Will ye bar the doors of your houses in My face? This indeed is naught but a grievous error. He, verily, hath again come down from Heaven, even as He came down from it the first time. Beware lest ye dispute that which He proclaimeth, even as the people before you disputed His utterances. Thus instructeth you the True One, could ye but perceive it (31:9)

The river Jordan is joined to the Most Great Ocean, and the Son, in the holy vale, crieth out: 'Here am I, here am I O Lord, my God!', whilst Sinai circleth round the House, and the Burning Bush calleth aloud: 'He Who is the Desired One is come in His transcendent majesty.' Say, Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: 'Ye cannot bear it now.' And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God. Beware, O followers of the Son, that ye cast it not behind your backs. Take ye fast hold of it. Better is this for you than all that ye possess. Verily He is nigh unto them that do good. The Hour which We had concealed from the knowledge of the peoples of the earth and of the favored angels hath come to pass. Say, verily, He hath testified of Me, and I do testify of Him. Indeed, He hath purposed no one other than Me. Unto this beareth witness every fair-minded and understanding soul (31:10)

Though beset with countless afflictions, We summon the people unto God, the Lord of names. Say, strive ye to attain that which ye have been promised in the Books of God, and walk not in the way of the ignorant. My body hath endured imprisonment that ye may be released from the bondage of self. Set your faces then towards His countenance and follow not the footsteps of every hostile oppressor. Verily, He hath consented to be sorely abased that ye may attain unto glory, and yet, ye are disporting yourselves in the vale of heedlessness. He, in truth, liveth in the most desolate of abodes for your sakes, whilst ye dwell in your palaces." -Baha'u'llah (31:11)

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Used with Permission - Joel Smith