Every major religion, and most religious people, respect and value the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, even if they don’t subscribe to Christianity. Spiritual seekers from every area of the globe and from every religious vantage point, however, have discovered in Jesus something more than merely a great moral teacher who lived an exceptional and exemplary life of self-sacrifice and enlightenment.
CS Lewis is famous for pointing out the incongruity of acknowledging Jesus as a great moral teacher without conceding that Jesus is who he claimed to be – God who entered into His own creation as a man. This is Jesus equated himself with God. More poignantly, Jesus claimed to be God. That is why the religious leaders of his day wanted to stone him on many occasions. It’s the ultimate reason why they insisted on his death at the hands of the Roman leaders.
People who claim to be God aren’t considered great moral teachers. Anyone who is confused about his own deity shouldn’t be teaching anyone anything. People would be foolish to listen to such a person who makes that kind of claim. If Jesus wasn’t merely confused about his deity, then he was worse – he was a liar! Who would follow or listen to a liar?
Yet, his life and the things he said command authority. People of all religions acknowledge it. His teaching is transcendent, authoritative, life-changing and timeless. All major religions claims some kinship with Jesus, but Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth and the life, and he said, “No one comes to the Father ]God] except through me.” (John 14:6) As one thoughtful person said (whose name I can’t remember), maybe the spiritual seeker should start with Jesus since all other religions point to him.
I had a religion professor who claimed that all roads lead to the top of the same mountain. I am not sure that is true, but people from all religious roads from all over the world have found their ways to Jesus.
In the following story, Michael grew up in a Christian school, but he was fascinated with eastern religions. He read every book he could find on eastern religions. He went to India as a “failed meditator”. He studied under a guru. the goal was always elusive, always out of reach, but he became a yogi, studying and teaching transcendental meditation. He spent almost three decades on this journey. Then, on a during a time of isolated meditation, things began to change, leading him in a completely different direction.
These are the stories of people from various backgrounds who have found their ways to Jesus: