Sometimes people get upset when they realize Jesus taught he is the only way to God. They insist such a narrow and exclusive message must be wrong. Of course, their conclusion is based on the assumption that anything that’s narrow must be wrong. Today we’re taught the value of tolerance. And we need to be tolerant of people with different views. Indeed, such tolerance is virtuous. But we don’t want to tolerate error.
And it’s an error to assume anything that’s narrow is wrong. After all, truth is narrow and exclusive. Every time I’m on a plane that lands on the designated runway in the designated direction, I’m glad the pilot accepted the narrow and exclusive directions he received from the tower. Or take mathematics: 2+2= 4 is narrow and exclusive. The combination to a lock is narrow and exclusive.
Jesus taught a narrow path to God when he said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). The question isn’t about what Jesus taught. The question is: was Jesus right or wrong? Did he tell the truth or lie? I would suggest his fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies proves his truthfulness. The Old Testament prophets, under divine inspiration, made predictions only the Messiah could fulfill. The one man who fulfilled all of these prophecies would be the promised Savior. In his book, Science Speaks, Professor Peter Stoner considers eight specific prophecies.
- Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; fulfilled in Matt. 2:1-7; John 7:42).
- Preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; fulfilled in Matt. 3:1-3)
- Enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9; fulfilled in Luke 35-37).
- Be betrayed by a friend (Psalms 41:9; 55:12-14; fulfilled in Matt. 10:4).
- Sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12; fulfilled in Matt. 26:15; 27:3).
- Betrayal money thrown “to the potter” in God’s house (Zec. 11:13; fulfilled in Matt. 27:5-7).
- Silent before his accusers (Isaiah 53:7; fulfilled in Mat. 27:12).
- Crucified (Psalm 22:16; Zec. 12:10; Is. 53:5,12; fulfilled in Luke 23:33)
Stoner said that by applying the modern science of probability to just these eight prophecies, the likelihood one man up to the present time could have fulfilled them all is 1 chance in 10 to the 17th.
That would be one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. Of course, such a huge number is meaningless.
Realizing this, Professor Stoner utilized an illustration to bring the number down to earth–literally. He asked the reader to imagine the state of Texas covered two-feet deep with silver dollars. That number of silver dollars would approximate 10 to the 17th. Next Stoner urged the reader to imagine a single dollar lifted from the pile and marked with an X. That dollar is then returned to the pile which is thoroughly stirred.
Finally, a man is blindfolded and told that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must select the one silver dollar with the mark on it. The chance he would identify the right coin is the same chance the prophets would have written those eight prophecies and had them all come true in one man– from their day to the present.
The only conclusion we can draw is that the prophecies were either given by divine inspiration or the prophets guessed what would happen. In such a case the prophets had just one chance in 10 to the 17th of having them come true in any man, but they, and many others, all came true in Jesus Christ.
Why did this happen? Because God wanted us to know that Jesus was who he claimed to be–the only way a person can approach God.