Sometimes people get upset when they realize that Jesus taught that he is the only way to God. They insist that 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 do need to be tolerant of people with different views. Indeed, such tolerance is virtuous. But we don’t want to be tolerant of error.
And it’s an error to assume that anything that’s narrow is wrong. Truth is narrow and exclusive. Every time I’m in a plane and it 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, for example. The equation, 2+2= 4, is narrow and exclusive. The combination to a lock is narrow and exclusive.
Jesus taught a narrow path to God? Was he right or wrong? I would suggest he was right as proven by his works. The Old Testament prophets, under divine inspiration, made predictions which 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 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 1017th.”
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 intended to bring the number down to earth. He asked the reader to imagine the state of Texas covered two-feet deep with silver dollars. That number of silver dollars would approximate 1017th. From that massive pile a single dollar is lifted out and marked. It is then returned to the pile and all the dollars are thoroughly stirred.
Finally, a man is blindfolded and told that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up the one silver dollar with the mark on it. The chance he would get the right one is the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote in their own wisdom.
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 1017th of having them come true in any man, but they all came true in 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. Could we draw a different conclusion? We’ll consider that next week.