The Way

Today’s reading:  John 14

Do you have a good sense of direction? Some people have an uncanny way of being able to navigate their way around even when it’s their first visit to a specific location.  I wish this was me, but it is not.  Not knowing where I am or how to get where I’m going, and not having a good sense to figure it out can cause me great stress at times.  (How did I ever survive without GPS?)  This is especially true when the stakes are high.  If I have to be somewhere new first thing in the morning, it isn’t uncommon for me to do a “test run” the night before so I can avoid being late and/or starting off in a high stress mode because I’ve had difficulty finding my way there.

When I read the first six verses of John 14, I sense the disciples were in stress mode because they didn’t know where they were going.

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 (John 14:1-6).

This passage is the beginning chapter of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse – his guidance to the eleven disciples (sans Judas) after the last supper, before his crucifixion.  Even though he was preparing to leave them, he was trying to give them confidence that he was going to take care of them. Because the disciples didn’t completely understand his plan, didn’t know exactly where they were going and how to get there, they were anxious.  Think about it.  These eleven men left everything to follow Jesus, and now he was talking about leaving.  They literally had nothing to go back to.  If I had been in their situation, I think describing me as anxious might have been an understatement.

Take a look at Jesus’ response. He didn’t try and get the disciples on board by providing more information on where or how.  Rather, his words of comfort were simply about who.  The disciples didn’t need directions, they need a reminder that trusting Jesus was the way.  He was all they needed.

Regardless of how well we find our way from place to place, we are all lost. So I ask again – how good is your direction sense?  Does it point you to Jesus?  He is still the way.  He is still all we need.