The Way

We’re spoiled.  Contrary to what it may seem, we’re not really lost when we don’t where we are and don’t know how to find our destination. With a few taps of a screen, our GPS enabled maps quickly show us where we are at and the route to our destination. As we travel, the GPS instructs us to which way to turn at each point of decision. Which is all fine and dandy until our GPS takes us down some gravel road to shave a few 10th’s off of the journey. But this all assumes one thing – that we know where we are going.

John’s gospel records a passage where Jesus comforts His disciples. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” (John 14:1–4, NASB95) It is a beautiful and hope-filled promise which speaks of acceptance, preparation, and longing to be together. To which the ever-practical Thomas asks, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” (John 14:5, NASB95)

Cool, but um Jesus, if you don’t mind me asking, um, I don’t know where you are going, so, like, how do we get there? Thomas asked a fair question. Of all the disciples, I think I relate most of all to Thomas and his practical, evidence-based faith. He didn’t dive headlong into things like Peter. Nor is he as emotionally driven as John. If we plopped Thomas into our world, he would probably be the kind that actually follows the instructions to build that whatchamacallit from Ikea.

Jesus didn’t rebuke Thomas but directly answered his question. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6, NASB95) While Jesus’ answer is pointed directly at Thomas, it applies to us all. The answer is Jesus. Jesus is the destination and the way. It became a trite cliché but asking “what would Jesus do” at a fork in the road is a valid question.

But Jesus’ answer goes beyond finding our way. Jesus also said, “I am the truth.” Or, to put it differently, Jesus is our truth that keeps us on the way. In a world that bombards us with competing truth claims, we must firmly hold to the central truth of Jesus Christ. And Jesus is our life, our purpose, our legacy, our reason for being. The world does not understand that. Our life in Jesus is not about gaining wealth or power or self-indulgence. Our life is Jesus.

And then Jesus added one more explanatory clause, “no one comes to the Father but through Me.” We as Christ-followers like to think that this razor doesn’t include us. But we are subject to its truth as well. We don’t come to the Father because of our good looks, our good deeds, or that God has chosen us for a special anointing. We are invited to approach God the Father through Christ. There is no alternate route.

Here’s the beauty of this passage. Jesus wants us to be with Him. He is preparing a place, He will come for us, and He, through the Holy Spirit, leads us in the way. We are not left to stumble in the dark, hoping to chance upon the gates of Heaven. Neither do we need GPS to get there. Jesus is our way, our truth, and our life. The question remains, however, if we will walk in the way, acknowledge the truth, and live the life or go whatever way seems best to us.   

Dale Heinold
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