Summary: A sermon for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Fifth Sunday of Easter
""Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am 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. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ’Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it." John 14:1-14, RSV.
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and risen Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Our text for this morning is a text that I have used many times in a funeral sermon. It is a text that gives comfort to a grieving family as they long for some comfort and hope as a loved one has passed away.
But today, I see this text in another light. I see this text as a guide for living, for life.
The heart of this text are the words of Jesus when he says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."
I would like to dwell on those words this morning.
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
Jesus is way for us. The way to life, the way to the heavenly Father, the way to the heavenly mansions in the sky.
But many of us search for the meaning of life in things of this world. But Jesus is telling us that he is the way in this world. He is our guide. He is our only way to the Father, the heavenly homes.
A modern parable says it well,
A traveler was returning to his home from a journey to a distant country. At nightfall he arrived at the entrance to a vast forest. Unable either to delay his journey or retrace his steps, he was prepared to traverse the sullen forest when he came upon an old shepherd from whom he asked the way.
"Alas!" cried the shepherd. "It is not easy to point it out, for the forest is crisscrossed by hundreds of paths winding in every direction. They are almost all similar in appearance, though all with one exception lead to the Great Abyss."
"What is the Great Abyss?" the traveler inquired.
"It is the abyss which surrounds the forest," replied the shepherd. "Moreover, the forest is filled with robbers and wild beasts. In particular, it is ravaged by an enormous serpent, so that scarcely a day passes but we find the remains of some unfortunate traveler who fell prey to it. Still," the shepherd continued, " as it is impossible to arrive at the place where you are going without traversing the forest, I have, through a motive of compassion ’stationed myself at the entrance of the forest to assist and direct travelers. I have also placed my sons at different intervals to assist me in the same good work. Their services and mine are at your disposal, and I am ready to accompany you if you so desire.
The candor and venerable appearance of the old man satisfied the traveler, and he accepted the proposal. The shepherd held a lantern with one hand and with the other took the arm of the traveler. They then set out upon their journey through the dark forest.