Matthew 21:42-46: 42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
There was a church in the city that I served that simply called itself Jesus Assembly of God. They put up large billboards on the roads coming into town that were bright yellow. The billboards read, “Jesus.” They used the same slogan and advertised in the local high school community publication. There were vocal complaints about the ad. They were not allowed to place the ad again. Do you know what people complained about? It was the period behind Jesus’ name.
“Jesus.” is not politically correct in our culture, but it is theologically correct. Jesus made it clear in John 14 when he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” The apostles made it clear in Acts 4 when they said, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”
The whole story of the Bible would make no sense at all if it were true that you could believe in any religion at all and still be saved. If that were the case, why would God the Father send his Son into the world to die for the sins of the world, if any religion could save us? Why would the Son of God lay down his life for us if we could find salvation in any other name but his?
The story of our salvation in Jesus is the most exclusive and yet inclusive story of all. It is exclusive, because only Jesus can save us. It is inclusive, because he died for the sins of the whole world, and everyone who believes in him will be saved. Even me. Even you.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there is hope in you and in no other! Thank you for bringing me to faith in you, for without you I would be crushed beneath a load of sin. Help me to see the countless people around me who still do not have that hope in you. Use me to bring this message of salvation to as many people as I possibly can. Amen.