Summary: The life of faith is a journey along the path of life with Jesus. It also is opening ourselves up to the truth of the Spirit
John 14: 1-14 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”
Everyone is searching for a home, in actuality it is the one desire humans have that cannot properly be satisfied on this earth, because this earth is not our home. In a spiritual sense, everyone is like Patch Adams, striving to get home, but the snowstorms of sin blind us and often we find ourselves on the wrong path.
Patch Adams tries to describe his early life. He compares it to being caught in a snowstorm so blinding that you could walk in circles for days and not even know it. You are incredibly tired, and no one is answering your cries for help. He says, “How small you can feel. How far away home can be.” Patch uses a dictionary definition to say that home is both where you are from as well as your destination. He explains that the storm was in his mind. Though he longed for home he could not find the right path. He ends with, “Eventually I would find the right path, but in the most unlikely place.”
We all are looking for the path home. The good news is that Jesus whispers to our homesick hearts “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes home [to the Father] except through him.”
The early Christians picked up on Jesus’ words that he was, “the way,” and called themselves, “The Way.” The term focuses more on the concept of path, rather than a direction. The image of a path depicts more that idea of journey, as opposed to destination. Jesus is the path to the Father—to home. Christianity—the walk of faith—is a way of life, or a life style. Contrary to popular belief the goal of Christianity is not to get to heaven, but to live each day in a personal relationship with God.
I, like most men/husbands/fathers, am a destination person. Once the car is packed and everyone has his or her seatbelt secured we are off to our destination. I refused to be deterred from arriving as quickly as possible at my destination by scenic turnoffs, historic landmarks, outlet malls, or restrooms. I am single minded in my determination to arrive at my goal with as few detours and stops as possible.
Popular Christianity treats Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as a means to an end—God has saved my soul so that when I die I will get to heaven. This popular belief is opposite the idea that through the cross of Jesus Christ I can enter into a relationship with God and experience an abundant life each and every day that I take a breath and my heart beats.
The, popular, but narrow view, I believe, explains why so many Christians don’t act like Christians. They compartmentalize their Christianity to an occasional act of worship on Sunday morning—just enough to get to heaven. The idea that living by faith is a journey eludes them.
Jesus is the Way. Walking with Jesus means:
¨ Living a life where challenges, disappointments and failures are not God’s judgments, but times when we experience Jesus in a deeper, more intimate way,
¨ Living a life where love and forgiveness are daily demonstrated in great and small ways,
¨ Living a life where the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, is abundant and ripe.
¨ Living a life with the purpose of bearing witness to God’s love and grace to the people around us.
¨ Living a life where we use our gifts and talents to serve God by serving others.
Not only does Jesus identify himself as the Way, he also says that he is the Truth.
Almost all of us say that we want to know the truth, but in reality we don’t. What we really want is to hear something that we already know, or to read something that agrees with what we think is the truth. New ideas or divergent ideas are not welcomed—even though they may contain some truth. Often teenagers are confronted by parents who demand that they tell them the truth. The teenagers confess that they don’t tell their parents the truth; rather they tell their parents what their parents want to hear.
Truth comes to those who seek the truth. Sometimes it dawns on us quickly. Archimedes struggled to figure out how he could tell if the king’s crown was made from pure gold or laced with lead. The truth suddenly came upon him while he was soaking in his bathtub in the concept of specific gravity. Archimedes rushed through town, forgetting to put on a rob, shouting “Eureka!” “I’ve found it!”
For some people, the truth that they have been living their lives in opposition and a part from God dawns on them suddenly. In a flash of light they see their sinfulness, their emptiness, their need, and realize that Jesus is the only one who can forgive and fulfill.