Important Words About Jesus – #68

Word #68 – Whoever

Any person, without restriction

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)


One of the loudest and most frequent criticisms against Christianity is that it is exclusive.

If you’ve been a follower of Christ for any length of time at all, you’ve probably heard someone say (maybe even say to you), “Where do you Christians get off claiming Jesus is the only way to God? What about people who devoutly practice other religions? Do you really think you’re better? How can you be so narrow-minded? Why would you embrace a faith that is so intolerant?

These sorts of questions would be problematic, except for the fact that Jesus used one extremely inclusive word again and again and again.

The word is whoever.

The word whoever means “anybody and everybody, without restriction.” (Does that sound exclusive to you?) Whoever is an open, nondiscriminatory invitation. It says all are eligible, all are welcome-Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, CINOs (Christians in name only), anyone. Look at just three of the ways Jesus used it:

  • “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
  • “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
  • “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39)

In spite of reports to the contrary, the Bible assures us that God doesn’t play favorites (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). And Jesus, by repeatedly using the word whoever, made it clear that anyone, anywhere can be saved. Not by jumping through religious hoops, but by trusting in Him.

Also to the common criticism cited above, the reason Christians claim Jesus is the only way to God is because that’s wht He claimed (John 14:6). Repeating His words isn’t bragging or gloating-as if any person anywhere has anything to brag or gloat about. It’s simply stating what Christ Himself said.

Maybe, instead of fuming and fussing over how many ways thee are to God, we should be rejoicing that there is at least one way. It’s true that Jesus said the “road that leads to life” is narrow and “only a few find it” (Matthew 7:14); however, that doesn’t change the fact that whoever desires to get on the road to life can access it. Jesus is an equal opportunity Savior. He responds to all who call on Him.

Spend some time today thinking about the astonishing grace that flows from the pronoun whoever. This three-syllable word warmly embraces liars and cheats, those with great fame or great shame, deadbeat dads and mass murderers. Are you an addict, a felon, a big religious fake? Good news! Whoever includes you.

Welcome this word of ultimate welcome. Even better, accept the one who used it so indiscriminately.

Then let whoever alter the way you interact with whomever you meet today.

Study Question

Why is the word whoever one of the most beautiful words Jesus ever said?

 

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