Have you ever seen the “COEXIST” bumper sticker?
It takes the symbols of different religions—from Islam to Christianity—to spell the word, “coexist.”
That bumper sticker sends two messages.
The first message is social. No matter what your religion, we should all co-exist in society without doing violence to one another. Instead of Muslims fighting with Jews, and Hindus fighting with Christians, let’s all coexist in social peace.
I don’t have a problem with that message. I don’t think it’s possible, especially if your religion requires that you do violence to others, but it’s nice to think about.
The second message is theological. It implies all these different gods coexist, and that all religions are equally true (or equally mythical). Don’t we all worship the same God, anyway?
Jesus didn’t think so. And neither should you.
So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also”(John 8:19).
Jesus was speaking to Jewish religious leaders. They claimed to believe in God. In fact, they claimed to believe in the very same God as Jesus. But did Jesus agree?
“You know neither Me nor My Father.”
You don’t know God, Jesus told them. You think you do, but you actually don’t.
“If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
The only way to know God, is to know Jesus. That didn’t go over well with the Jews.
It wouldn’t go over well, today, either, would it?
And keep in mind, Jesus wasn’t saying that to Hindus, or Jains, or Native American animists. He was saying it to the Jews! His own people! To the priests and rabbis! In the Temple! That was the highest, purest, most God-ordained, Biblical religion on planet earth at the time! But Jesus didn’t hold back in saying, they didn’t know God.
The fact is, bumper sticker hopes aside, we don’t all worship the same god, or know the same God. There’s only one way to God. One. Not many. Not a few. Just one. Through Jesus. If you reject Jesus, you reject God.
So here’s a bumper sticker idea. How about one that says—
No Jesus, No God.
Know Jesus, Know God.