- Religion and Philosophy
Following In His Steps
John 14:6 .. Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
This is probably a verse that you have heard many times in your
Christian life. It is a verse that you have memorized and bookmarked
and highlighted and can recite verbatim. But have you ever really
stopped to meditate on this verse? Have you ever asked Jesus what He
means when He says He is the way? Doesn't this seem to imply that there
are other ways besides the way that Jesus is speaking about? The greek
word for way is hodos. It means a path or a road or a highway. And it
is not just the path or road but the journey that takes place on the
path or road. This word 'way' also implies the distance that this
journey will take. And last but not least is that it means a course of
conduct. A way of thinking and feeling and deciding.
In John 14, Jesus has explained to His disciples that He must leave them and return to God the Father. But He promises His disciples that, one day, they will be together with Him in His Father's house. So it stands to reason that we must be on the road that Jesus went on before us. Thank God He has cleared this road for us. Before Jesus, this road was paved with obstacles that a human being would have never been able to overcome. But, Jesus has made the way for all of us to be able to travel this road that He took to return to the Father. And nobody .. Not one single soul will be able to take this road unless they know Jesus, intimately. Because only He, knows where this path is and how to travel on and stay on, this path (which can only be accomplished by acknowledging and leaning on the Holy Spirit). We can picture this like a map that is comprised of billions upon billions of different small paths. But, the path that we all want to take is hidden. Therefore, we are forced to take one of the billions upon billions of paths that are on the map and all of the billions of paths lead to the destination that we all are so desperately trying to avoid. The path that Jesus took will become revealed to those that look and act just like Jesus. And then there is the journey. The journey will comprise of our faith and our works. What did we do on this earth while we traveled this path? Jesus cleared the way, but it is up to us to leave this path a more beautiful place for the next traveler. We must bring others to this path so that Jesus can reveal this path to them. And the path must look inviting. It must look like a path that one would desire to take. The journey is our love walk.
And then, there is the distance. The distance can seem insufferable to those that are not equipped to travel this path and could tempt one to give up and get off this path. The distance to the promised land for the Israelites was a relatively short distance. But the journey took them years upon years. There is going to be distance when traveling. But the distance should quickly be covered if traveling in the direction meant for you. How is your relationship with the Father? Does He seem miles away to you or is He near? Have you discovered the purpose He has for your life?
And Jesus said He is the truth. What does this mean? The greek word used here is 'aletheia' and it means the candor of mind which is free from affection, pretense, falsehood and deceit. I love that! It means .. The ability to make judgments free from discrimination or dishonesty. Truth is indicative of the faithfulness of what Jesus Christ has said and done on this earth and in heaven. We can all agree that truth is the very fabric or foundation of our beings as Christians. Truth cannot change to suit the need. Truth must be absolute, it cannot be relative. Yes, there are truths in our lives that some might consider relative rather than absolute. But, I do not refer to these as truths so much as I think of these as facts. The truth is much bigger and much more stable than a fact. In other words, the truth is that I am 56 years old. But this truth will change in the next year. So, in all respect to Jesus being the truth, my age is a fact. Not a truth. Facts are subject to change, while truth is not. Without truth, chaos and disorder become the norm. Every person wants the truth, whether they admit it or not. Truth can be uncomfortable and unsavory but it is also stable once we get used to truth. And truth becomes like an old friend that we will turn to over and over again in our lives, once we become familiar with truth.
And Jesus says He is the life. The greek word used here is zoe. Oh how I love this word! The Zoe life! This word means .. The state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate. The absolute fulness of life both essential and ethical and belonging to God. Real and genuine a life that is active and vigorous and devoted to God. Blessed in every way. Deathless to God. It means we are alive to the Father. We were considered dead, but once we make Jesus Lord of our life, we are now alive to the Father. And not just alive but made righteous before the Father. Righteous means we are in right standing with the Father. Are we perfect? No. But we are striving towards perfection while on this earth. So what separates us from all other religions that are striving for perfection? We are accepted unto the Father as already being perfect! The Father sees us as perfect in Christ! Those striving towards perfection without Christ, are spinning their wheels in agony and going absolutely nowhere but hell. Without the Father's approval, the acts and deeds are void and useless. And only Jesus Christ has the approval of God the Father. No human being of their own devise will ever be able to get the approval of God because they have no life in them unless they are born again. And those of us born again are in Him and are alive. He is alive and that makes us to be alive in Him. When we understand we are alive in Him and who He is in us, we begin to think and act and become more like Him. Jesus is the life and without life there is only death. Death is not the opposite of life. Rather death is the absence of life. And the absence of life in a person is the absence of Jesus Christ. "But I am living!" the unsaved says. Yes the unsaved are living but the unsaved are not alive. What is the difference? Living is a temporary state of being and death has the power to abruptly interrupt living. Being alive is a permanent state of being of which death has absolutely no power.