Way. | John 14.6-7
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14.6-7 | ESV
Jesus responds without missing a beat, “Why, Thomas, I AM the Way, and this is the point! I AM the Path, the Road, the Journey paved with truth, and brimming with life. There is no other Road, there is no other Path, period! – and intimate connection with my Abba is discovered here in every step. To know me is to know the Father. And so, the reality is, from this very moment, right here, right now, you know him and you’ve seen him.” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.”
So easy for these words to become a bludgeon of religious conformity as we divide all religions into two groups: the false ones and my own. But we are not hearing Jesus in the upper room if all we hear in these words is nothing more than yet another claim to religious superiority.
There are many religious responses to Jesus, both institutional and non-institutional expressions of devotion that have a nagging tendency to become exclusivistic in their claims and bearing. But Jesus cannot be reduced to the straight line of our religious responses and codifications that are put in place to make sure that we are going to the right place or that we belong to the right group.
Jesus is not a religion.
Jesus is not a religious franchise.
He transcends it all.
He sustains all,
he holds all,
he fills all.
Listen to the Christ hymn that is Colossians 1, or that is Hebrews 1, or Ephesians 1.
Jesus is not the sum at the end of the correct religious equation – so you better get all the religious factors right and perform the correct religious operations in the correct order.
The earliest name for what we now know as “Christianity” was not the “End Zone” or the “Goal Line.”
It was the “Way.”
This so does not compute for us. Give us the destination, and we will input it and then listen to our religious Siri as she speeds us long the correct, most speedy religious path to that destination.
Jesus is not a destination.
He is not even the destination.
Jesus is the Trip.
And walking is the point.
Do you experience Jesus more as a way of life or as the means to the end of obtaining heavenly rewards – or is he a little of both for you? Why? How would these two approaches look differently in practice?
Lord, with each step this day, show me what it means to embrace you as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Teach me what it means to make you the Journey, to truly take you as the ultimate Trip through all the diverse and confusing paths of this world. Through Christ.