I Am The Way
Jesus was very clear about who he was and what he was here for, and he wants to help you develop that same clarity.
In John’s Gospel Jesus gives seven very clear descriptions of himself.
"I am the vine.” John 15:5. "I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. "I am the good shepherd.” John 10:11. “I am the gateway.” John 10:9. "I am the resurrection.” John 11:2. "I am the bread of life.” John 6:35. And today’s difficult teaching, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6.
Today, we are going to focus just on the first part of this quote. Jesus says, “I am the Way.” It is from John’s Gospel, chapter 14, verse 6.
The world says there are many ways to get wherever it is you want to go. The world says chart your own course, make your own way. The world says you are the master of your journey. The world makes it sound easy and enjoyable. Jesus disagrees.
With Frank Sinatra we often cling fiercely and foolishly to our independence and announce, I’m going to do it “My Way!” There is a personal path for you to walk, but it is not discovered by pridefully asserting our will. It is discovered by humbly surrendering ourselves to the will of God.
“I am the Way,” Jesus said. It was in response to a question Doubting Thomas had asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).
When you reflect on Thomas’ question, Jesus’ answer is unexpected and perplexing at first. Why? Because of the way we think. The disciples wanted Jesus to say, do this and this and this. They wanted him to say, these are the seven things you need to do, or the four steps that will get you there, or the five things to avoid. They were looking for a map, a linear path, some clear directions, warnings about danger along the way, and a list of what they needed to pack for the journey.
But Jesus says, no need for elaborate plans, you don’t to pack anything, just stick with me. Stay close. Just be with me, I am the destination you are constantly obsessing about.
It’s the being that we struggle with. Some of Jesus’ teachings are about doing, but many of them are about being. We prefer doing over being, because doing distracts us from the becoming we are called to and ignoring. That’s why we find it so difficult to be still and quiet. And that’s why all of Jesus’ doing teachings are preceded by being teachings. It is by simply being with Him that we are prepared to go out into the world and do something meaningful.
We live in a world full of people who are lost and pretending they are not. Sometimes we are one of those people. And to some extent we are all lost and needed to be found all over again.
Today’s difficult teaching is a beautiful invitation. Jesus says, “I am the Way.” He is the way from darkness to light, from anxiety to peace, from dissatisfaction to fulfillment, from death to life, from meaninglessness to purpose, from nothingness to everything that matters.
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