Week of May 27: There is only one way to the Father - through Jesus the son
By the Rev. Doreen Smalls
Scripture: John 14:1-14
There have been times that I have been lost while driving in unfamiliar places. I knew my destination but I just did not know how to get there. That’s why I am so grateful for global positioning systems, better known as GPS. The device provides accurate directions that guide me to my destination.
In John’s Gospel, the matter at hand is not merely the destination of a given trip. Instead, it is the destination of one’s life that is the concern.
His own eulogy
The 13th chapter of John includes Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and Jesus predicting Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. He also explained that he was leaving them and they could not come. They had left their families and possessions and very soon their beloved friend would leave them as well. All of these revelations were certainly unsettling to the disciples. So Jesus tells them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1a).
He knew the hour was drawing near for his death and tried to comfort them. He wanted to calm their fears and give them peace.
Although he was leaving them, he encouraged them to stand firm. There would be difficult times ahead, but he advised them to remain faithful. He added, “Believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1b). Placing their confidence and trust in God would enable them to withstand the coming trials.
We often hear the aforementioned scriptures at funerals. They are intended to provide consolation and hope to the grieving family. But they need not be limited to times of death. Whenever we face a challenging situation, they serve as a reminder to place our certainty and assurance in God.
How are you able to stand firm when facing uncertainties? Do you place your faith and confidence in God?
A compass, a map and a GPS
Jesus continues by telling the disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house. He stated, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, you may be also. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:3-4).
Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (John 14:5) Thomas did not comprehend what Jesus saying.
Jesus responded, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus declared that salvation is only available through him. There are no exceptions and no shortcuts; he is the way. Not only did Jesus, the Incarnate Word, reveal the truth about God; he is the truth himself. Understanding the relationship between the Father and the Son will offer you life, eternal life and abundant life.
We live in a world where people frequently gravitate to the latest philosophers or gurus looking for purpose or direction. People also turn to material possessions as a source of fulfillment or way to fill the empty space in their lives. While there is nothing wrong with possessions themselves, we must remember that they cannot take the place of Christ. It is when we enter into a personal relationship with Christ that we find fulfillment and purpose.
Consider this hymn “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” as you reflect on your life in Christ.
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
Such a way as gives us breath;
Such a truth as ends all strife,
Such a life as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
Such a light as shows a feast,
Such a feast as mends in length,
Such a strength as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
Such a joy as none can move,
Such a love as none can part,
Such a heart as joys in love.
How does your life reflect Jesus as the way, the truth and the life?
Rev. Doreen Smalls is an associate director at the Office of Connectional Ministries. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.