I live at the end of a long country road. It is the only way to get to my home. If you wish to visit, you can’t randomly choose any road you want because no other road will guide you to my front door. You also can’t call my cell phone by punching in any set of numbers on your phone. I have a very specific phone number and using those numbers is the only way my phone will ring.
In a slightly similar way, Jesus makes a bold, challenging declaration of His identity. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Considering context, Jesus had just assured His disciples, “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…”
And then Thomas spoke up. I love his honesty and forthrightness. Maybe he was the one placed in charge of logistics for those who followed Jesus. Thomas replied, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” John 14:2-5.
Thomas asks a question that mankind continues to ask and debate, “How can we know the way?” Jesus answers, “I am the way…”
The way is a metaphor for a road or path where there is a destination in mind. Since Jesus defined Himself as the Way after stating that He was going to His Father’s house, we can be confident that He is stating unequivocally that He is the Way to God. Not “a way” but “the Way.” And removing every potential misunderstanding, He continued, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus is the only Way—the only path leading us into God’s presence.
Mention that at your next social function and you will most likely be labeled intolerant, narrow-minded and arrogant.
It seems as though people have decided one of the greater atrocities of our time is intolerance. While I am convinced that we are to lovingly include people who have different beliefs and ideas in our lives, that doesn’t require us to accept their viewpoints as truth.
It is Jesus Himself who declared that He is the way—not a way—but The Way. Everyone must choose…do you believe Him or not? He either speaks truth or He is a liar. (Interesting that Jesus immediately followed His identity as the Way with His proclamation of being the Truth!)
Our pluralistic culture claims Christianity is exclusive however Scripture makes it clear that anyone, irregardless of ethnicity or gender or social status, who believes and accepts God’s gift of grace is included. That’s an inclusive faith. However Jesus warned, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the path that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14). Anyone who follows the narrow path finds life with God but yes, the road is exclusive to only those who follow Jesus. We must enter the small gate.
Jesus’ promise of being the Way to our eternal home is a precious gift but I believe He promises more. Jesus is the Way as we navigate life in our present world and circumstances. He can lead us away from shame, fear, addictions, condemnation and emptiness onto the path of forgiveness, acceptance, freedom, purpose and peace. Since He is the way into God’s throne room, we can take every care, concern and hope into that holy space and place it in the strong, capable hands of Almighty God.
The Way beckons everyone to follow Him just as we are. He invites all…the prosperous, the poor, the crippled by life, the blind and lame…to a great banquet. He says there is still more room. He wants His house to be full (picture from Jesus’ parable in Luke 14).
Thought to ponder:
Am I willing to follow “The Way” where ever He leads?