Summary: Do we worship the same God in different ways? Is Jesus a way? One way out of many? Or is Jesus the only way? Jesus said, ’I am the way, the truth and the life’.
I am the Way, the Truth, the Life
A little boy was lost inside a busy shopping mall. He was standing in the aisle of a department store just crying and crying, "I want my mommy.. I want my mommy." People who passed by felt sorry for him and many of them gave him nickels and dimes and quarters to try to cheer him up. Finally a salesperson from the floor walked up to the distraught little boy and said, "I know where your mommy is, son." The little boy looked up with his tear trenched eyes and said, "So do I....just keep quiet, I got a good thing going here!"
You know, the feeling of being lost is a terrible feeling, frightening feeling. For many years I did orienteering in the army – and I was pretty good at it – Regimental champion! Even got some qualifications – grade 3 planner and controller. But there were times, as good as I was, when was running through the forest, or up some hill, and I would see something or come to something that shouldn’t be there and I realise that I wasn’t where I thought I was on the map. And if I wasn’t were I thought I was – where was I. Miles from anywhere, no-one else in sight – lost. And I can tell you, the feeling in the pit of your stomach is horrible. In the middle of no-where, with no-one around for miles, you’ve got a map but you haven’t got a clue where you are on it. And you start to feel a sense of dread, of hopelessness, of fear and panic. It’s an awful, terrible place to be.
And sometimes you can be lost and not even know that you are lost – and without realising – you just carry on and on and get further and further and deeper into your lostness. Have you ever been going somewhere in the car and as far as you’re concerned you know exactly where you are, you know exactly where you’re going, and you know exactly how long it’s going to take – but then something happens – a road sign, a town or whatever, and suddenly you realise you’re not actually where you thought you were at all. Maybe you’re not even heading in the direction you thought you were. And millions of people live their lives just like that – lost, not in a geographical sense – but in a spiritual sense. But they just don’t know, they just don’t realise that they’re lost.
And often you will see this profound sense of lostness emerge in people who we would consider to have it all together. In the height of his career Mike Tyson seemed to have everything, fame popularity, world wide respect and he was worth $300 million – he completely dominated the boxing world. But in 2003 he was declared bankrupt. His money was gone, and after his 3 year jail sentence for rape – so was his popularity and respect.
In an interview after his defeat against Kevin McBride in 2005, Tyson said, ‘who am I? What am I? I don’t even know. I’m just a dumb child whose been abused and robbed by lawyers, I’m Just a fool who thinks he’s someone." Sounds like Tyson eventually took notice of the sign posts and realised just how lost he was.
Robbie Williams - I don’t think anyone can ever be fully happy. If you’re fully happy then you’re a miserable person because the grass is always greener on the other side-it has to be. I’m not saying I’m miserable-in fact I’m the happiest I’ve been for a long time, but I’m no happier than I was when I was at school. Then again, I’m more miserable than when I was at school.” Some of the best times in my life happened under the influence of drugs... I’d still be doing it if I could make good judgement calls. I’d still be doing it if I didn’t blow up to the size of an aircraft hangar, because it was a great time. – Sounds to me like someone who is lost.
Where are we going?
Many people are lost. Many people are confused. Many people are unhappy. They are ‘Like sheep, without a shepherd’. Even Jesus’ disciples, on the night when He was betrayed, were feeling lost and confused and Jesus had to say to them ‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled’. You see in just the previous Chapter Jesus had told them some pretty earth shattering things. These men had been with him for 3 amazing years. They’d seen people healed, they’d seen demons cast out, they’d seen the dead raised to life. They’d seen thousands of people miraculously fed, they’d seen the wind and the waves obey a human voice, they’d seen God walking and talking here on earth. Surely all of this was but the beginning of even greater things.