Summary: Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
From the time we are quite young, almost as soon as we can walk, we want to go it alone. Unless we get lazy then we want to be carried :)
Finding our way in life is a huge challenge, especially because we are driven to satisfy our senses, what feels good. Problem is that what feels good often doesn't serve us well. Paradox - ultimately driving us to desparation, looking up from the bottom of an unescapable well - show me the way!
Jesus tells us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. What does that really mean?
Understanding today's scripture requires a little background on Jewish Wedding customs.
It all began with The Betrothal
Betrothal was Binding - undone only by divorce for certain reasons- (not a virgin)
Groom drew up a Contract The Ketubah - marriage covenant - given to the bride and her father.
Bride Price was settled on to compensate the parents for the cost of raising her and it was an expression of his love for her.
Every groom hoped for Acceptance
The groom would pour a cup of wine for his loved one and wait to see if she drank it. If she drank the cup she would have accepted the proposal and they would be betrothed.
Preparing the Wedding chamber
Before leaving he would say, " I am going to prepare a place for you ", and "I will return for you when it is ready". From there he would go to his father's house and begin adding on a room
Meanwhile the bride would be preparing herself so that she would be pure and beautiful for her bridegroom. During this time she would wear a veil - showing she was unavailable for suiters
the wedding could take place any day without warning. When the room was ready the bridegroom could come for his bride. Customarily the bride would keep a lamp, her veil and her other things by her bed. Her bridesmaids were also waiting and had to have oil ready for their lamps. Remember the parable of the foolish and wise virgins?
The groom often came for his bride late at night. When the groom and his friends got close to the bride's house they would give a shout and blow a shofar (ram’s horn) to let her know to be ready.
After the wedding ceremony, all the friends really started celebrating for the seven days that the couple were honeymooning. When the couple emerged there would be much congratulation and the Marriage Supper could begin.
As you listen to Jesus' teaching listen closely for the images of a marriage in His words.
John 14 - "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 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. 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."
Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." 8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." 9 Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus weds the Jewish marriage customs between a groom and his bride with God the Father, Son and us