Summary: It's my way or the highway! I did it my way! You can have it your way! These are beliefs of the modern world. But the truth is there is only one way.
On June 14th 1969, Frank Sinatra released the single “My Way” written by Paul Anka. Perhaps it was in response to the old saying, “it’s my way or the highway. “ It became a huge hit and would be the second most covered song in history. The lyrics were
“And now the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend I'll say it clear
I'll state my case of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way.”
It tells the story of a man who, having grown old reflects on his life as death approaches. He is comfortable with his mortality and takes responsibility for how he dealt with all the challenges of life while maintaining a respectable degree of integrity.
It was popular because of it’s in your face attitude.
“Yes there were times I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all
And I stood tall and did it my way.”
It was popular because of its pride-filled attitude.
“For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.”
In the early seventies, a new idea emerged when a popular restaurant declared, “have it your way.” Now I had the right to no longer conform but rather to expect everything to be, as I desired.
Now we live in an age where you have the right to your way and I have the right to my way. Your way is no better than my way.
However, this theology stands in stark contrast to the truth. As we will learn today, we do not get to do it our way.
So far, Jesus has made five statements clarifying himself to be equal with God. He has said, “I AM the bread of life. I AM the light of the world. I AM the gate. I AM the good shepherd. I AM the resurrection and the life.” This last claim coming before raising Lazarus from the tomb.
Jesus departed from this area and went to Ephraim, a town near the wilderness. He stayed there until six days before the Passover Feast. He returned to the home of Lazarus for one final meal with his friends and then began his final trip into Jerusalem.
Jesus went about Jerusalem teaching those who were listening about his upcoming death. Jesus then has his final supper with his twelve disciples. He washes their feet to teach them about servitude. He informs Peter of his upcoming denial. He instructs them concerning his departure but promises to return for them. This leads to an interesting conversation between Thomas and Jesus.
John 14:4-6 “And you know the way to where I am going.”
“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
Another bold statement. “My very existence gives me the authority to claim that I AM the only way to heaven. My very existence gives me the authority to claim that I AM the absolute truth. My very existence gives me the authority to claim that I AM the only sustainer of life. My very existence gives me the authority to be the conduit between God and man.”
Jesus tells Thomas, “I Am the road, the path, the thoroughfare to get from this place to the place I am going. I AM the reality in comparison to what this world offers. I AM the sustainer of physical life and the giver of spiritual life.” Jesus is making it very clear that He and He alone is the way to heaven.
God’s word agrees with that assessment. “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11) “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)
This statement of Jesus being the only way created a lot of anger and resentment among the Jews. This anger and resentment continues today.
We live in a nation that has 313 religions and denominations. There is a huge white dome of a mosque in the midst of a cornfield in Toledo, Ohio. There is a great Hindu temple on a hillside in Nashville. A Cambodian Buddhist temple and monastery is set in the farmlands of Minneapolis.