Summary: Jesus doesn’t merely show us the way; he is the way, the only way to our heavenly home.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit touches our hearts are the words he breathed into the Apostle Paul to write, recorded in Romans 5:
[Jesus said,] “Do not feel troubled. Believe in God and believe in Me. In My Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you home with Me so that you will be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me. (John 14:1-6 NET)
This is the the word of our Lord.
Dear friends of God in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Stories of lost pets traveling great distances to get home grab our attention from time to time. For example, Walt Disney in the movies The Incredible Journey and Homeward Bound tell how two dogs and a cat travel hundreds of miles through the mountains and forests to get home. That drive to get home takes them through many obstacles and dangers. They overcome hunger, rushing mountain streams, bears, and porcupines all to get home.
What makes their journey so incredible is that they had no path to follow. No one to tell them which way to go. No one to take them on the right way. Yet in the end they found the way.
Jesus’ words spoken the night he was betrayed teach you and me that we are much better off than those three pets. We don’t need to wander around aimlessly in the wilderness of life. We don’t need to face the dangers alone. We have one who does not merely show us the way; he is the Way. Jesus says, “I am the Way.”
Tonight as we walk with our Savior in his passion, we walk with the Way. That’s the theme tonight: Walk with the Way. He is Jesus Christ, your Savior. As we listen to the words he speaks to his disciples and us, we learn that 1) he, Jesus, is the Way home, that 2) he is the only Way home, and that 3) he is the only Way to our Father’s home.
1) Jesus is the Way home.
Those three pets had a strong desire to be home with their people. Human beings have a strong desire to be home as well. Our troops in the desert would rather be home with their families. We talk about “Home, sweet home,” and “There’s no place like home.” We want to be home for the holidays, just like the ones we use to know growing up at home.
We desire to be home, even though we know that our homes are not always as great as we imagine. There can be arguments, hurt feelings, disappointments.
Jesus talks about a home free of all those troubles. “In my Father’s house there are many rooms” (John 14:2 NET) or mansions, he says. He is speaking about heaven. In heaven “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4 NIV). “Never again will [we] hunger; never again will [we] thirst . . . God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes” (Revelation 7:16, 17 NIV).
What is more, God has created all of us with a desire to reach that home, deeper than any animal instinct. Our life, our very being craves that fellowship, that communion with him. Psalm 42 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1, 2 NIV).
But there is a problem about finding our way home, a bigger problem than mountains and rivers and wild animals. The problem is sin. Sin has changed us. Because of our sin, our natural self hates God. By nature we want to run away from God, just like Adam and Eve ran away and hid after they had sinned. Our sin takes the desire to be with God and corrupts it into a desire to be like God, to be his equal. This desire wants to deal with God on our own terms. It wants to set our own standards for entrance into heaven. It wants to find our own way there.
The irony of it all is this same sin in us makes us totally unlike God. It makes us totally powerless to find a way to heaven. It makes us totally blind to the one and only way. The biggest obstacle between us and our heavenly home is our own sinfulness. For by nature we do not have the power, the desire, the strength, nor the ability to believe in Jesus or come to him. But he is the Way home. Jesus is the only Way home.