Many people wonder, “Why does Jesus have to be the only way to God?”
The short answer: because he said so.
Jesus told the people,
I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. (1)
There are many people that try to tell us how to go to heaven. The Pharisees said it was by a rigorous keeping of not only the law, but of the rules and traditions that they held to as well. Even today, many people today try to enter heaven through their efforts.
But Jesus tells us that any one who tries to enter heaven through any other way than the gate, is a thief and a robber. And not only do they try to grasp what they can never achieve through their own efforts, they will steal your souls and send it to eternal judgment if you follow them. Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10a)
Here, I believe Jesus is talking about the great Thief, Satan. But Satan will use people to try to lead us to spiritual destruction. This is not to say that these people themselves are aiming to destroy us. Their intentions are generally very good. But they have been deceived themselves, and if we follow them, we’ll follow them right into the pit.
What then is the gate that we are to enter by? Jesus said,
I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. (John 10:9)
The picture Jesus gives us here is very interesting. When a shepherd went out into the field and put the sheep to rest, he would take them to a temporary fold that had only one entrance. And when the shepherd went to sleep, he would sleep right at the entrance. He literally was the gate.
Jesus is saying here that if you want to enter God’s kingdom, if you want to live a life that is truly blessed, it can only come through him. And anyone who tells you different is a thief who will lead you to destruction.
Again, Jesus said,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. (10a)
But then, he concludes,
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (10b)
Do you want a full life? A complete life? There is only one way. There is only one gate. The only question is, will you use it?