Aug 20, 2014, 10:15 AM
Our Lord Jesus once told his disciples that he was going to leave them (meaning to die) in order to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house; after which he would return to take them with him. He must have assumed they knew where his Father’s house was supposed to be; instead, they enquired where the location should be. Thomas, one of the disciples asked him “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (John 14:5) That was an occasion therefore for our Lord Jesus to further clarify: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
The words ‘coming’, ‘going’ and ‘through’ tell us clearly that our Lord Jesus leads us to a destination and is himself a destination. We must first get to him before we can get to our final destination. Life is a journey for which we took the first step when we were born. So just as we entered this life, we must exit it one day. It takes some preparation though, otherwise it may all seem like we are just accidents on a futile journey to the unknown. Far be it. God has a purpose and a plan for every one of us, including you.
It is time that we get it straight; we are all merely transiting this earth on our way to the next stop which could be either heaven or hell depending on whom we choose to follow. If we have chosen God’s way, rest assured that he has figured it all out so we could get to our destination with certainty. He sent his Son to show us the way to his Father’s heart through the right way, the straightway and the narrow path. When our Lord Jesus said he was ‘the only way’, we presume that we run the risk of going another way which would be misleading. So he had to plant sign posts, warning signs and sign boards to ensure that none of his followers would go astray. The Bible teaches that It would be costly for one to miss his/her way to the heavenly abode, by landing in hell where its “worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48), and where there “will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:12)
Whilst this might look like a coincidence, most of the people who were healed by our Lord Jesus were either blind or lame; as if to say they needed to see and walk to their destination, without any hindrance. It is important for us to see where we are going and to learn how to get there; thus justifying the need for our Lord Jesus to show us the way.
Our Lord Jesus was able to tell people to come to him, to follow him because he was the way. At the time he was recruiting his disciples, he met Matthew, a tax collector, at his post and invited him: “Come, follow me!” Matthew got up and followed him without stopping to think of job-security, or the risk of following a complete stranger.
Dear Reader, if you are going through trying times and difficult situations in your bid to cope with life’s ups and downs and the demands it makes on us, our Lord is launching an invitation to you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, ..... and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28) Again he promises to take us to a place of rest, so we could offload all our worldly burdens and lighten our steps.
Getting to our destination has a price tag on it. It requires us to search for the truth in order to be free. “If you hold to my teaching, you are my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32) It calls for ‘mustard seed’ kind of faith to walk with Jesus through thick and thin, during the good and the bad times, renouncing all others, even ourselves. It does seem like a hard way, but the reward surpasses the sacrifice. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) He promises abundant life; “that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Our experience with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the way to the Father who for the love he has for his creation, “gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The destination ‘world’ is temporary, and must be lived bearing in mind that we are heading home in the eternal realm where nothing corrupts. As we follow him, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow (us) all the days of our lives and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)