One of the best ways to understand someone is to find out what he thinks about himself. Jesus said many, many things about who He was — He said that He is the Son of God (Matthew 16:16-17), that He and the Father are one (John 10:30), and that the Father is the One who sent Him (John 5:37). He also announced that He did not come to be served, but to serve and that He came to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). He came as a substitute payment in behalf of humanity. He agreed with His accusers when they called Him "King of the Jews." His "I am" statements from the book of John reveal that He claimed to be the Good Shepherd who loves the sheep (John 10:11), the Bread of Life who can prevent hunger (John 6:48), and the True Vine who abides in us as we abide in Him (John 15:1).
Jesus also said He was the Door to Heaven (John 10:9), and in John 14:6, He expanded on that thought: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but though Me." That statement has caused many people to back away, thinking, What a bigoted, egotistical statement! How narrow-minded to think that the only way to Heaven is through the person of Jesus Christ. And yet, this man called Jesus is exactly who He says He is. He is the Good Shepherd. He is the Bread of Life. He's the way, the truth, and the very life itself. Because, you see, in order for us to have eternal life, we must receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
Now, if you believe all the other things Jesus said, but decide He can't be the only way to Heaven, then you are saying He told partial truths or lies. You can't have it both ways. Either Jesus is who He says He is, or He is not. So you cannot say, "Jesus is a good man, a wonderful teacher, an effective preacher, a great healer, philosopher, and humanitarian, BUT..." Whenever your belief in Christ's validity has caveats, you make Him a liar. When it comes to all that He said about Himself, either He is a counterfeit and a fraud, or He is exactly who He says He is—the eternal Son of the living God, the Savior of the world, and the One who will some day judge each one of us.
Excerpted from "What Difference Does It Make who Jesus Is?" by In Touch Ministries (used by permission).