Summary: A two part lesson on just how Jesus is the way, truth, and life guiding us to heaven.
I AM THE WAY
Text: John 14:6
1. "Do not let your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to him, ’Lord, we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ’I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the father but by me.’"
2. Jesus has just informed the disciples that he is going to die soon.
3. They know that he is going to leave them and are getting worried.
4. Jesus senses this concern and gives them this comforting passage that eases their minds and hearts.
5. We read this passage all the time and never truly examine it to see what it says to us.
6. Jesus says, "I am the way…" What is he talking about when he says this?
7. We can see several ways in which he is "the way":
a. The way of suffering
b. The way of submission
c. The way of sanctification
d. The way of sure love
e. The way of serenity
f. The way of service
g. The way of success
8. It is the aim of this lesson to see what "way" Jesus sets out for us and learn how to follow that way in order to see glory.
TRANSITION: We would expect God with us to make an easy path for himself; instead
I. He is the way of suffering.
A. He did not set out a course for himself that would make all things easy for him and more difficult for us.
B. His suffering was predicted
1. He knew it was going to happen.
2. "Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day." (Luke 24:46)
3. Matthew 16:21, From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things form the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day."
4. Jesus knew what was ahead of him
a. Much suffering and pain
b. Much ridicule and torment
c. He would be mocked and spat on, beaten and crucified
d. He would be killed by sinful men.
C. And he did suffer
1. Hebrews 2:9, "But we do see him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."
a. He suffered greatly on the cross
b. His suffering was excruciating
c. And he did it so that he "Might taste death for everyone."
d. That includes you and me.
2. We too must follow him
a. Does that include being crucified?
b. Many of his apostles and early followers were crucified or otherwise killed in horrible fashion
c. I Peter 2:21, "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in his steps."
i. He bore his cross without complaint
ii. He was reviled and did not revile or threaten anyone
iii. He just kept on trusting in God the father who judges righteously
d. So now by his wounds we are healed.
3. If we just follow his example we have a divine promise
a. Romans 8:17-18 says that we become joint heirs.
b. We share in everything that he worked for.
4. "Christianity has made martyrdom sublime, and sorrow triumphant." –E. H. Chapman (Selected Quotations)
TRANSITION: In suffering He shows:
II. The way of submission
A. The desire of Jesus was to please God.
1. John 8:29, "And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him."
2. John 9:4, "We must work the works of him who sent me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work."
a. Jesus did not consider it something to be grasped to say that he was equal with God
b. He was with God in heaven and emptied himself of that lofty position
c. He came down here to serve the father in heaven.
d. If he so lived, should we not?
B. We learn to obey through suffering