Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Way the Truth and the Life

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
We encounter Thomas. He doesn’t make too many appearances. People call him doubting Thomas, but really he was a simple man with simple thoughts. I love that about the disciples. We don’t get to see all their personalities but we do get to see many of them. Enough of them anyway to understand that Jesus didn’t have a profile for what would bring “success” in the ministry. He had different men, men with different thoughts, different personalities, different strengths and different flaws. Jesus even uses their flaws and weaknesses to accomplish his purpose. He uses the shy and the outgoing, the weak and the strong. This is very true of pastors. It’s hard we are humans like everyone else. I have often shaken my head wondering how someone I considered naïve, or timid was going to make it. I’m sure many have wondered the same about my outgoing and sometimes brash, “devil may care” attitude. But then I find God does it. He works through me despite my best efforts to foul it up. What some hate about me, others love. Some shake their heads wondering how? Others see it and say, I get it now. “I can be me and be a Christian, because despite of me, God died for my sins. Jesus, the way, is open for me too.”
Thomas is confused, he doesn’t know where Christ is going, so he doesn’t know how to get there. Jesus is going to the Father, and he is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus doesn’t give Thomas a map or directions, he doesn’t say turn left at Albuquerque, he doesn’t say quite drinking, or smoking, spend all your time at church and sacrifice your family, friends and work. Instead he says, I am the way. Faith in him is the way. He has done it for us. This is the gospel. It isn’t merely a message about forgiveness, or that God loves us. It is that Jesus has made it possible for us to come home to God. He is the way apart from which no one gets to home to the Father.
Because he is the way home to the Father, then he is also the truth and the life. This means that he is the truth about God. We can know next to nothing, perhaps even nothing about God apart from him. He is the truth not only about God, but about us too, the meaning and purpose of our life, the value and worth of our life to God, about sin and forgiveness about the end of it all. We perhaps don’t find all the anwers we want with Jesus, but we find all the answers we actually need, we find the answers to those issues and questions. They are revealed in him, answers we would never in a billion years think of on our own, because he came to give us the life, his life, the life we were originally created to have in communion with God, without sin, without death, with joy and love. He is that life, and this is the life he died to give to us, the life he sacrificed on the cross so that we could become one with him, and him with us, because knowing him we know the Father. From now on you do know Jesus, and you do know the Father, because in that hour the time came for his death and our atonement.

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