“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. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
In between celebrating the Passover meal and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus spoke intimately with His disciples. He has finished washing their feet, Judas Iscariot has left the group to complete the betrayal, and Peter has just been informed he would soon deny knowing Jesus.
Yet Jesus was sharing encouragement, hope, and instructions, in the face of what was to come. In the midst of this amazing and profound conversation, Jesus makes quite a direct and exclusive three-fold statement about Himself.
I enjoy studying the meaning of words and thought we might reflect on what Jesus was revealing about Himself by considering his words over the next several days.
“I am the way” – The origin of English word “way”: Old English weg, of Germanic origin; from a base meaning ‘move, carry’. The word “way” as defined by the Oxford dictionary: “A method, style, or manner of doing something. One’s characteristic or habitual manner of behavior or expression. The customary modes of behavior or practices of a group. The typical manner in which something happens or in which someone or something behaves. A particular aspect of something. A specified condition or state. A road, track, path, or street for traveling along. A course of travel or route taken in order to reach a place. A specified direction of travel or movement. A means of entry or exit from somewhere, such as a door or gate.”
What is the implication to our lives as we consider this absolute claim that Jesus makes? Not only is Jesus saying he is the road or path to the Father, our means of entry, our door into heaven. He is the one that moves us and carries us. He is also the direction we follow within our daily lives.
What if we were to see Jesus’ example as our manner of behavior, our manner of living. The way in which we make decisions each day. Do we see Jesus as characteristic of who we can be in our daily interactions?
The early church referred to their faith as the Way – However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets. ( Acts 24:14). This has not changed, when we accept and receive Christ, we too are followers of the Way, living in the hope of who Jesus says He is.
As we look forward to the day when the course we are traveling on leads us into the Father’s house, let us allow our lives to reflect this hope. Let’s show those around us, we do in fact know the Way.