Summary: A sermon about Jesus as the Way.
“Following The Way”
Jesus’ disciples were anxious and scared.
Just a few sentences before our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus said to them: “I will be with you only a little longer.”
And the disciples cannot imagine life on earth without Jesus.
They are afraid for their future.
They have left everything to follow Christ.
They have left careers, homes—everything they owned in order to be with this guy, learn from this guy, follow this guy—and now He is telling them that He is going away.
What are they going to do?
Who will they follow?
Who will show them the Way to the abundant life they have been experiencing ever since they started hanging out with Jesus?
And so Jesus does what Jesus always does when people are afraid or anxious.
He gently spends time telling them: “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be alright.”
“You’re not going to see me with your eyes much longer, but I will be with you.
And you are going to do great things.
And I will still be leading you.
And you will still be following me.
I won’t leave you alone.
I won’t let you get lost.
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
And then He talks about His “Father’s house.”
His Father’s house…
…that’s an odd thing for Him to say.
The only other time Jesus has ever used this expression is when He was talking about the Temple in John Chapter 2.
And the point about the Temple is that the Temple was the place where heaven and earth met.
It was the place you had to go to be with God.
But Jesus isn’t referring to an earthly Temple like He was in John Chapter 2.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Wait a second here.
Thomas, never one to keep quite when things aren’t making sense speaks up: “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
And to this Jesus says something very profound.
He says, “I am the way.”
What in the world did Jesus mean by that?
Suppose we are in a strange town and we stop and ask someone for directions.
The person we ask may say something like: “Take the first right and the second left.
Go past the park and the Burger King.
Then take the third right and the road you want will be the fourth one on your left.”
We’ve all been in situations like that.
And if you are anything like me, you will be lost before you get half-way there.
But suppose the person you ask says instead, “Follow me. I’ll take you there.”
This is what Jesus does for us.
If we allow Him, Jesus takes us by the hand and leads us.
He guides us everyday.
If we follow Him we will have found the key to this human experience.
And we will be in the Father’s house.
And I don’t mean just after we die—I mean right here and right now.
Jesus is the embodiment of it.
Soon after our passage for this morning Jesus says that after He is crucified, raised from the dead and Ascends into heaven—in other words—after He “goes away” Jesus will not leave those who believe in Him as orphans or alone.