2016-06-30 - The People of the Way
Originally Published 2000-07-13
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
Are you one of 'the People of the Way'? That is one phrase the people in the Roman Empire used to identify Christians. It was a derogatory, almost slanderous phrase. It reflected the perception of narrow mindedness on the part of the believers. But Jesus came to reopen the way to God. Mankind had closed it and turned their collective back on Him. All out attempts to be religious, or relink with God have been on our terms. Jesus came as God in human flesh to do what we could never succeed in doing. To bridge the gap between mankind and the Father.
The Baptists, the Methodists and many more groups of Christians have been give these derogatory tags. They have often taken them to themselves not unlike Jesus' took His cross. The Methodists where berated for their 'methods' and the baptists for their views on baptism. The early church was castigated for the view that there was one way to God.
Have you ever been called 'narrow-minded'? I know I have. And it was with regard to the very same topic as it was 1900 years ago. The singular way to God. I have heard it said that it is not so much a miracle that more people don't come to God; rather it is a miracle that anyone is saved at all. We have this mistaken idea that we are worth or worthy of salvation. Paul reminds us that we are far from worthy.
Rom 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
The fact that there maybe only one way is hardly anything we have control over. Yet the world sees us as representatives of Jesus and registers their complaint. It would be not unlike a scientist who finds the cure to the AIDS virus letting the world know he has it. But to get it, they have to come to him. Is he narrow minded? He has the serum that curse the disease, so he's not lying. Is he being unfair for not sharing the cure? Perhaps, but it is his discovery. Jesus has the cure for an even more devastating disease. It's called sin. It is fatal to your spirit 100% of the time. Jesus has the cure, redemption. But there is only one way in either case. It is simply a fact, not something meant to be a problem. The fact that the way, or the serum, are there is meant to be a blessing.
Coming to grips with the fact that we are not able to get to God on our own, or make a way through our own strength or effort is a little humbling. Once that is done, Jesus can show us the way He has made for us. Why only one way? It took His blood to open the way. He gave it once for us, holding nothing back. Once was sufficient. No one can close that door, they can only refuse to walk through it. Sadly, many will make that choice. Before you do, try to see the cost of opening that one way. Rather than seeing the restrictiveness, see the fact that is it there at all. If you can see these points, there is much more in store for you. Wonderful things.
Ps 84:11-12 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O LORD of hosts, how blessed is the man who trusts in Thee!
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.