Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples
14:1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. 14:2 There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 14:3 And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too. 14:4 And you know the way where I am going.”
14:5 Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 14:6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 14:7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”
14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 14:9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves.14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the miraculous deeds that I am doing, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Q Is belief in Jesus the only way to get to heaven?A We who practice the Christian tradition understand him as our vehicle to the divine. But for us to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box.
A Living Stone, a Chosen People
2:4 So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God’s sight, 2:5 you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 2:6 For it says in scripture, “Look, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame.” 2:7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 2:8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over.They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 2:10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.
But it is not just the Presiding Bishop who stumbles over the correct interpretation of Jesus' words in John 14:6. Those who came to the defense of her reading included many of her ilk (including Episcopal Cafe and the usual blogs), as well as even some atheists. And in the attractiveness of such a misreading to so many lies the truth of Peter's description of Jesus as a "stumbling-stone."
“‘Belief in Jesus’ is the same as belief in God. So your question really asks if belief in God is the only way to get to heaven. Now, maybe you could think that there is a heaven without God, but that's not very likely. If you don't believe in God, you won't believe in heaven. So the answer to your question is ‘Yes’ -- belief in God is the only way ‘to get to heaven,’ as you put it.”