The Way, The Truth and The Life
Have you ever lost your way? It has become less likely to get lost with navigation built in to my cell phone. I can just set the destination and follow the directions, turn by turn, to arrive safely. My navigation app even provides the number of miles and time left to the destination, and the estimated time of arrival. Some people even drive a little over the speed limit to try to beat the ETA provided by the navigation app! You know - some people...
Occasionally the navigation app gets it wrong and takes me out of the way. I remember a time I was following the maps app to a location I'd never been to before, and the final instructions were to proceed to a certain corner, make a U-turn, come back about a half a block, and turn in to the parking lot. I followed the directions because I didn't know the way. Only after I made the U-turn did I realize there was a turn opening in the median that led directly into the parking lot without going the extra half block and making the U-turn.
Another time we were driving to an event at a retreat center in Indianapolis we had never been to before, and when we got to the end of the navigation, we were in a residential neighborhood, in the middle of a block at some driveway to some house. Then I had to figure out how to get from where we were to where we were going. I double checked the address, and found we were on the right street, but in the wrong block. We figured it out and made it to the retreat center.
In the upper room on the night of the Last Supper, Jesus was seeking to comfort His disciples in the face of His impending crucifixion. Here's how part of the conversation went.
Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:1-6 NIV)
How can we know the Way to God? How can we find the Way to the Father? Who shows us the Way to heaven and eternal life?
Jesus says, "I am the Way." The way is not a route on a map. The way is a Person. The way is Jesus. Follow Him, and He will show the way. But it's more than that. Jesus literally is the way. By His atoning death on the Cross, Jesus becomes the way to be restored to a right relationship with the Father. The way to God is faith in Jesus Christ.
How can we be sure this is true? Can anyone really know true truth?
Jesus says, "I am the Truth." The truth is not made up by what makes sense to me. Jesus teaches true truth. More than that, Jesus literally is the truth. His life, death and resurrection are the central truths of a life that is grounded in Him. All other truth is measured by what is true in Jesus. The way to true truth is faith in Jesus Christ.
What happens to us when we die? Some believe life simply ends. It's over. We cease to exist. But Jesus claimed to Martha that He is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him will never die. Can it be true that there is more life after death?
Jesus says, "I am the Life." Life, real life that is filled with fullness, is found in Jesus. Life makes sense when it is ordered around Him. Life is enlivened when Jesus lives in our hearts. And life continues beyond the grave for those who trust Jesus and follow Him. The way to both abundant life and eternal life is faith in Jesus Christ.
I have found all these things to be true in following Jesus. He is my Way to the Father. He is the Truth I live by. He is Life itself to me. Perhaps you, like Thomas, are asking, "How can I know the way?" The way you seek is found in a relationship of faith in Jesus. Trust Him. If you want a life that is filled with life and leads to eternal life, don't follow Google Maps. Follow Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life!