The Way

“I am the Way”
John 14:5

Have you ever set out on a trip with directions someone had given you? You listened  attentively as they described how to get there. You tried to  follow their directions to the best of your ability.  You were  determined to arrive at your destination without stopping to ask for clarification. Have you ever become totally disoriented, confused and lost as you frantically tried to follow their directions as you searched for the way?

If you only had someone to show you the way.  If you only had someone to lead and to guide you to your final destination, everything would be OK!  In a world of so many different paths, we often are tugged  and torn in different directions as we search for the right way. Often we find ourselves lost,  lonely, and confused asking, “Where am I going?” “How am I going to get there?” “Which way is the way?”

The crowds and the Pharisees during Jesus’ earthly ministry had been asking directions too – asking the way to the Father and in their confusion they couldn’t see that Jesus was their road map, THE WAY. He was the one who could provide clear directions to their destination.  Simon Peter in his bewilderment asked where Jesus was going that he might follow (John 13:36).  Thomas  Didymus, challenged Jesus’ statement that the disciples knew the way and the place where he was going.  Jesus responded with the well-known description of himself, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:5).  The disciples were confused and bewildered even after all this time with Jesus. They still  thought in terms of a real place, an earthly kingdom set up by the promised Messiah, not realizing that Jesus was speaking about a spiritual destination, an eternal kingdom.

Many today become lost in a maze of deception as they search for the truth. There are those in the world who would tell you that there are many ways to the Father. They say there are many ways to salvation and eternal life. There is the way of nature. There is the way of charity and good deeds. There is the way of perfection.  But all these “ways” are attempts to climb over into the fold by “some other way.”

There is only one way to the Father.   He is called God’s “highway of holiness” (Isaiah 35:8). He is the joy of the Redeemed. He is Jesus Christ. He is the Way. He alone is THE path to the Father, to God himself, so we might “glorify and enjoy him forever.” He is the only way for the lost to have hope of eternal salvation. He is the only way for the redeemed to have confidence in that same hope.

There was once a missionary who was preaching in the villages of Angola, Africa.  After one memorable meeting with a chief and his men, this missionary asked if there were other villages that would give him the same kind of welcome and listen to his message of hope and salvation. The chief said, “Yes, there is a village right through this forest.”

“But,” the missionary replied, “I don’t know the way.” “That is no problem,” assured the chief.

He then called one of his men and instructed him to take the missionary through the forest to the adjacent village.

After traveling for several hours, the missionary said, “We have been traveling a very long time and we haven’t arrived. Do you really know the way?”

The man grinned, took his axe from his shoulder, and said to the missionary, “Do you see the marks on those trees there? I made those marks when I blazed the trail.  Do you see this axe  I hold in my hand? With this axe I cut the way through this forest. Do you see these marks on my body? They are wounds I suffered when I first pushed my way through the undergrowth to make the way.”

And then standing his full height and tapping his massive chest, the guide said with resounding confidence, “I am the way; follow me!”

Our Lord, Jesus Christ has blazed the trail for us to follow. He points to the nail wounds in his hands and the wound in his side and says, “These wounds I suffered when I made the way to heaven through the dark jungle of sin for you.  I am the Way; follow me.”

May each of you have a blessed week following in the Way of the one who has gone before.

Pastor Mark

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