Summary: We are all guilty of going the wrong way on the road of life, but we don’t realize is that we can lead our family on the same path and risk crashing into others who are going the right way.
On Sunday, July 26, 2009, while we were IN church, unbeknownst to me and my family, on the same road that I travel twice a day daily, while we were carrying on in the HOLY SPIRIT, there was something happening in the SPIRIT realm. Diane Schuler, drunk and stoned, drove 1.7 miles in the WRONG direction into on-coming Highway traffic and killed 8 people including her! NOW I understand the words uttered by that great Minister of the Gospel & martyr, John Bradford, who said while watching from his prison cell, “There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford”. This utterance later became common in the variance you may be more familiar… “There but by the grace of God go I”.
I think this is a good place to pause & reflect of just how GOOD God REALLY is. All of the WRONG way living we have done. All of the things we have done to destroy our bodies, God’s temple. All of the cigarettes we smoked. All of the alcohol we consumed. All of the drugs we IN-jected, IN-gested and IN-haled. All of the food, the salt, the sugar, the cholesterol that resides in our bodies even NOW due to poor dieting. All of the tattoos, piercings and chemicals we’ve put on our skin. All of the weird, nasty and freaky things we’ve done behind closed doors and NOT-SO-CLOSED doors when we thought nobody was looking and when we didn’t care who was looking. All of the people we slept with who slept with God knows how many OTHER people. God I wish I had somebody in this church that would just take a LOOK back over their lives and say like John Bradford… “THERE BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD GO I!” I was going the WRONG way…BUT GOD…
Our text, our text….our text, gives us a snapshot into the ministry of Jesus and His disciples through the eyes of John the Evangelist who is also known as John the Beloved. John writes this Gospel with evangelical emphasis to simply prove that Jesus was indeed flesh, not just a spirit, but God Himself and is used as a point of entry for new converts to Christianity. John differs from the rest of the Gospels, as it talks primarily about JESUS himself, not so much of his miracles and his Public ministry. Jesus’ mission to bring the Word or Logos to his own disciples comes to the for-front in Chapters 13 through 20 as his Public ministry takes a back-seat. It deals with The Word being intimate with those He left the WORD to by sharing HIMSELF, THE WORD. Are you following me? No parables, no exorcisms, no Second Coming…just simply THE WORD! Chapters 13-20 are the backdrop of what we call the Passion Narrative which paints the Passion, Crucifixion and the appearance to His disciples AFTER the Resurrection.
Here in Chapter 14, during the Last Supper & after the Foot Washing of the disciple’s feet by Jesus, He continues what would be his Farewell Address that would go all the way through Chapter 17. In order for you to understand “Let not your heart be troubled” in verse John 14:1, you have to go back to over John 13, after Jesus tells His disciples that one of them would betray him. He tells them that he is about to leave them and that they can’t go where he is going. Peter, the one with the mouth wanted to know…WHERE ARE YOU GOING…THAT WE CAN’T GO!? Jesus tells Peter that where He is going, Peter can’t follow him NOW…Jesus has to go first, THEN we shall follow afterwards. Peter said Lord; I’m not trying to hear all of that right now. I’m not them! My name isn’t John, or Matthew, or Andrew, or James the son of Zebedee, or Philip, or Bartholomew, or Thomas, or James the son of Alphaeus, or Thaddaeus, or Simon the Canaanite, & it sure isn’t Judas Iscariot. It’s ME…PETER! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I WOULD DIE FOR YOU! Jesus’ response to this put’s a nail, right in Peter’s heart! Come on Peter…stop! You’re going to lay down YOUR life, for MY sake? Yeah, right! I promise you, you will deny me THREE times before cock crows to announce a new morning! The Bible doesn’t say it but how would YOU feel. I’m not Peter, but I’d be hurt, I’d be distraught, I might be mad. I might want to quit and GO FISHING! So we see Jesus, in verse one of Chapter 14 telling Peter and the Peter in ALL of us and the Peter spirit that resided in His disciples: 1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.