2008-05-08 - One Way
John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 "And you know the way where I am going." 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. (NASB) [see also John 14:6]
The story goes that a man was driving the wrong way down a one way street when he is stopped by a police officer. The officer asks the driver if he knew the street was a one way street. The driver replied, "But officer, I was only going one way!" Insert drum crash here.
There is a great deal of passionate discussion today about how one reaches God. It has been the topic of interest on mainstream media national talk shows. However the basic premise of the discussion is flawed. In the fourteenth chapter of John's gospel Judas has just left to betray Jesus to the Pharisees. It is abundantly clear that Jesus is speaking of His imminent death and promised resurrection. Thomas asks plainly, "... how do we know the way?" to the dwelling places where Jesus has just promised to meet them in Heaven. It is not enough that Jesus answers with the definite article "the" meaning singular, the way, and the truth, and the life - the one unique way, truth and life - the only way, the source of truth and life. The Master follows with a definitive statement saying, "... no one comes to the Father, but through Me." There is no room to maneuver in these phrases.
The argument that is spreading today is that all roads lead to God. Everyone will be saved and be in Heaven. Our politically correct world has decided that driving down the one way street in the wrong direction is acceptable. They have first made the determination that they have a say in how this all works. Mortal, fallible humanity has decided that the only fair thing a loving God can do is save everyone. After all, we're not that bad. We're a highly civilized society that is growing past all the old ideas of right and wrong. We've just misunderstood all these centuries. We have grown out of the whole idea of sin.
Christ did not lower Himself to come to this sin-cursed world to die an unspeakable death for no reason. If we have grown past our failings, frailties and need, then Christ came and died in vain. He took the 39 lashes, that normally killed the victim, with no cause. We caught a bare glimpse of the glory Jesus set aside to come and save us on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-8) and we dare to speak the idea that we are good enough to gain entrance to Heaven through whatever path we choose to take?
Prov 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (NASB)
The disciples struggled with the thought of Jesus' death. They believed beyond doubt that He was indeed the promised Messiah. But they were wise enough to ask the way - the path to follow Christ to Heaven. Peter ran a fishing business, Matthew was a tax collector, etc. They were not without knowledge and understanding of the principles of business. But we with our layered college degrees seem to feel that we know enough to tell God how to run we will arrive and determine what is acceptable when Jesus paid for our freedom with his sinless blood. The one who pays the piper calls the tune.
The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Sin is a word that simply means anything that falls short of God's perfect standard. God requires perfection to enter Heaven and none of us is perfect. Jesus came and lived a sinless life. This is the message of hope. He died and shed his blood to satisfy the law that required blood sacrifice for sin. His perfect blood paid the price once for all time. We must turn and walk that less traveled path. The first step is to acknowledge our need of help, that we have fallen short of perfection accepting Jesus' offered sacrifice as our own. Jesus has promised than anyone who sincerely asks for His forgiveness and turns to walk His path will not be turned away. He knows our hearts better than we know our own - He made them.
Pray something like this:
Jesus - I'm not perfect. I've a sinned. I've done some things wrong and I need your help. I want to leave those wrong things behind and walk on the road you want me to take - the one that leads home to You. Please forgive me and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you.
Jesus gives us a statement that only His road leads to God excluding all other ways. If this road is incorrect, then this road does not lead to God. Since this one road fails, then all roads do not lead to God. If this one is correct, then all roads do not lead to God because only this one does according to the statement. God specified one road. That one prescribed road leads to God. The driver in the story was indeed going only one way. But the ticket the officer wrote him showed him that there was indeed a right way and a wrong way to his destination.
Selah (think about it).
Lord Jesus - give people the courage and hope to do today what they will be glad they did in eternity in accepting your offered mercy and forgiveness. Thank You for Your promise to not turn away the sincere, humble heart. Amen.
Grace & Peace,