One of the most useful aids to driving in recent years has been the Satnav. For those with a questionable sense of direction it’s enormously comforting to be able to select the ‘home’ option and be directed right back to your door. There are horror stories of course of people blindly following the comforting voice only to end up in the middle of nowhere and hear Sally Satnav say; ‘You have reached your destination’.
They have improved as well; now they can detect disruption on the route before you get there and warn you about it. Sadly, the warning is often followed by; ‘It has not been possible to calculate an alternative route’. It least you can go and have a cup of tea.
In our reading today, Thomas was lost and asked Jesus for directions. Jesus answered by pointing to himself as the way and as with the Satnav, there is no alternative route.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The words of Jesus don’t sit easily in our society where we are told ‘there’s no such thing as absolute truth’. Strangely, proponents of the view are absolutely certain there is no such thing as certainty. These are not my words, or even the words of someone who was just a great teacher; they are the words of Jesus, the eternal Word. He didn’t claim to merely know the way; he claimed to be the way. The answer to the most critical question of life is found not in a set of rules to be followed but in a relationship with a person – Jesus. His mission was to die on a cross for sinners like me and you. It wasn’t a small thing; it was the most significant event of all time. The son of God dying on a cross, the perfect son forsaken, his body breaking down as the life flowed from him. He didn’t die to give us another option to consider; he died because; “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John has made it clear from the very beginning of his Gospel that Jesus and the Father are one. It isn’t an easy thing to grasp, to be honest I’m not sure anyone can truly understand it. How can the Word be with God and yet be God? But it isn’t about something that is easy to grasp, it’s about what is true. It might be easy to explain how a computer works in terms of lots of little people moving files around inside it but it wouldn’t make it true. We are dealing with the creator of the universe and we have barely scratched the surface in understanding what he has made, never mind the one who planned and formed it. If the trinity was something that was only taught here there might be a case of looking at it again to see if we have it wrong, but it’s something found throughout the New Testament and our response should be to believe what God has said.
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
It’s incredible that during his last night on earth, Jesus was looking to the future. He knew he was going to the Father (14:12) but spoke of the works the disciples would go on to do in his name. Jesus will go on to pray not only for the disciples but all who will believe their message (17:20) and so much of his teaching at the Last Supper is for all believers so perhaps we should be bold and ask for the things that will bring glory to the Son and the Father.
‘One Way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for.
One Way, Jesus, You’re the only one that I could live for. (x2)
You are the way the truth and the life.
I live by faith and not by sight for You.
We’re livin’ all for You…’ (Joel Houston, Jonathon Douglass)