Among my friends and family, my navigation skills are legendary. Unfortunately, they aren’t famous in a good way. The first time I went out to drive on my own, I missed the turn to my buddy’s house. Not long afterwards, I went to pick up my sister from camp, at a church we had been to dozens of times, and ended up lost across two different states. I have mastered the 3-point turnaround, not because I’m a great driver, but because I have had to reverse course so many times! If it wasn’t for my GPS-enabled phone, and my wife (who is like a walking map), I might still be out in the woods somewhere, still trying to find my way home from some trip started long ago.
I think that most of us want to find God, and the Truth that He brings to us. The desire to find meaning and purpose, and to live a life of joy, are pretty common among we humans. Yes, some look to the natural world or to other human beings for their fulfillment. However, based on my experience and research, I believe that these innate needs can best be met in Someone who transcends us, and can offer us more than our finite selves can ever (even if all humankind worked together) determine on our own.
In the book of John, it is recorded that Jesus was telling His disciples about their future with Him:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 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. 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. And you know the way where I am going.”
John 14:1-4 NASB
Those are encouraging words, to be sure. Followers of Jesus today still help each other through difficult times with this promise. However, in response, Thomas (one of Jesus’ disciples), asked a logical question:
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
John 14:5 NASB
Jesus replies with a simple answer1:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6 NASB
One Sunday morning, our preaching minister was talking about reconciliation with God. He said that the answer was “Jesus”. While this may seem like an over-simplification, a more detailed understanding of Jesus – from before His prophesied birth, through His ministry and ultimate sacrifice, and on to His future return – actually does answer nearly any question (of consequence) that we may ask.
I can’t pretend to capture all of these, but consider the following thoughts on each aspect of Jesus’ statement:
- Jesus is the Way: Our path in life is often unclear. Limited by our own humanity, our perspective is short-sighted and narrow-minded. Even the most open-minded or insightful of us isn’t able to grasp the scope of the universe or eternity, nor to see what consequences our choices in life will have in the long run. Only One who sees beyond time and space is able to direct us in the path that is best for His plan, which stretches throughout history.
- Jesus is the Truth: In a world that tries to find answers based on personal experience, or by trying to figure out what makes sense for them, Jesus offers an answer that transcends individual events or feelings. His ministry on earth pointed to a God whose Nature defined right and wrong…independently of human culture. Jesus’ purpose was to provide mercy to human beings who all fell short of the ideal for which they were created, while His sacrifice still allowed justice to be served by taking the punishment on himself.
- Jesus is the Life: For those (like me) who chose the wrong path, but accepted His payment for the justice that we deserve, Jesus is the reason we can live not only an abundant life on earth, but also an eternal life in the presence of God for eternity. He is also the author / creator of life. In addition, He provides meaning and purpose to our existence, by showing us how we fit into God’s eternal plan.
So, if you’re struggling a little to find your way these days, let me offer up the life, teachings, and person of Jesus as a signpost to point you in the right direction. I have found Him faithful to His promises, and I believe that – if you give Him a chance – you will discover the same, as well.
- Some time back, an article was posted on this site, called “I Do Not Know the Way”. This article talked about finding solutions to step up to God’s calling, even when we were uncertain of the details. However, a reader, commenting on this article, mentioned that he had expected that article to cover an entirely different topic, and – upon reflection – that other time-proven principle (outlined above) is definitely worth sharing, as well. ↩