Read John 14
In the last several decades there has been a considerable push towards “tolerance” in society. As western culture moves away from Christianity, much effort has been made to move everyone towards an ideal that says “all roads lead to God.” Whatever you believe, if you follow it with a true heart, you will reach some sort of “greater” being at life’s end.
Christians especially have been targeted in this, being called “intolerant” for claiming to have the only way to God and Heaven. The ridiculousness of targeting one of the world’s three major religions (all claim to possess the only way to God) notwithstanding, what Jesus says here not only predicts that this will happen, it speaks to the truest and deepest nature of who Jesus is.
While this conversation, this I AM statement, may seem like one among many, it really is a focal point in Jesus’ claim of who He is. Making the statement “I AM” in the way that He does is a claim that He is God, yet here Jesus amplifies it by making sure His disciples know exactly what that means. Only through belief in Him (because He is God) can one find the path to God.
No one else, in any religion, can make this claim. God became human to create a way, the only way for humans to have a relationship with God. His claim is exclusive, even if society and culture frown upon such exclusivity.
Does believing that Jesus is the only way to God make us intolerant? No. Trying to force someone to renounce their beliefs because you don’t like them does. It seems culture doesn’t like to follow its own claims of tolerance when it comes to Christianity. This, however, does not change our calling… or our faith.