In 1909 Arthur James Balfour, the former Prime Minister of England, was speaking at the University of Edinburgh on “The Moral Values Which Unite Nations.” In his address, he discussed different ties that bind together the peoples of the world—ties of common knowledge, commerce, diplomatic relationships, and bonds of human friendship. When he was done, a Japanese student studying at the Scottish university got up and asked this question. “But, Mr. Balfour, what about Jesus Christ?” According to an American professor who was there, you could have heard a pin drop. There was dead silence, as those present felt the justice of the rebuke. A leading statesman of a Christian nation had been dealing with ties that are to unite men and had left out the one essential bond. And the reminder of his forgetfulness came from a student from a far off non-Christian land.
“What about Jesus Christ?” Today, when human problems are of a complexity and seriousness undreamed of in 1909, the question is still relevant. More than ever before, it needs to be asked. And it is wholly in keeping with this service in which in a special way the Bible is before our thoughts that we consider it, for to do so is to go to the very heart of the Bible’s message.
Our text is in John’s Gospel, the fourteenth chapter and the sixth verse, where Jesus says to Thomas: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
Have you ever been talking to a friend in regard to some book you have been reading—one that you have found especially interesting or significant? If so, you know that it was not long before your friend said to you something like this: “But what’s it about?” Or, he may have put it more pointedly and said: “What’s it all about?” ...1
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