A great multitude gathered together on the mountainside, and Jesus stood and cried out with a loud voice:
“Truly, I say to you, I am the Bridge.
‘By me, a man can cross over the great gulf and pass from darkness into light and from death unto life.
‘The great gulf opens wide its mouth and swallows up all who try to cross it by any other way than me. I am the only way. No man can pass over but by me.
‘All who come to me I will lead them to safety and they shall have eternal life and will escape falling into the mouth of hell.”
Some religious leaders were disgruntled by his teaching and chided him, saying, “We keep the law of Moses and the prophets - how then can we be in danger of the fire of hell? Surely Moses who gave us the law is greater than you and your teaching.”
Jesus said, “Moses fell in the wilderness and never entered the promised land. How then can you follow one who cannot lead you to safety? There is one here who is greater than Moses. I am He, and those who follow me shall have eternal life and shall escape eternal damnation.”
Then Jesus began to teach them a parable:
“There was a certain tyrant king who mistreated a part of his kingdom. He was incensed because they desired to be joined with a neighboring realm belonging to a righteous monarch.
‘So the unrighteous king surrounded this part of his realm and laid siege to it. He cut off all trade from coming and going to and from the city. Eventually, starvation set in and both young and old began to wither and die.
‘There seemed no hope and no possible way of escape. Then when all seemed lost; the righteous king became angry at their plight and acted.
‘He came against the wicked one with great force and gained a great victory and he released the oppressed and they became part of his kingdom.”
His disciple asked, “Lord, how can we know if we are part of your kingdom?”
“Truly, I say to you, follow me and I will lead you where no other can lead you and take you where you cannot go without me.
‘Strive to follow only me; for others will eagerly desire to lead you into false ways. I am the only true one, who can lead you to eternal life.
‘I am the Bridge - many will come and say, ‘Cross over here or cross over there,’ but do not listen to them. They themselves do not want to span the gulf by me, nor do they desire for others to escape by the only true way.
‘You are part of my kingdom because you have followed me and I will lead you along the true pathway that leads to life. You too will become bridges that will lead others to me, the one true Bridge.”
Then Jesus addressed the crowd, “Do not listen to false teachers and prophets who are not God’s servants. If they were of God they would believe what I say, because I speak the truth and the truth is known of its own.
‘They do not want to enter in by the one true way and try to hinder others from finding the truth. They are like thieves who say, ‘Here receive this,’ and then steal all you have. They have their reward, which is the praise of men and that is what they desire.
‘You are the children of God when you follow the truth. I am the one who leads you into all truth. My desire is for all of you to avoid falling into hell fire. I am the Bridge that can lead you safely across the chasm of the abyss!
‘Come unto me all you who fear both life and death and I will give you the surety of eternal life.”
After these things Jesus withdrew from the crowd to pray alone on the mountain. He continued to commune throughout the night with his Heavenly Father.
In the morning he descended from the mountainside fully ready for another day’s ministry.
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