Nearing the end of Christ’s life before his crucifixion, he spoke to his disciples and told them he would not be with them much longer. In John 13:33-14:6 we read the story of how Jesus dealt with the questions of Peter as well as Thomas concerning his going away. He also brought comfort to the troubled hearts of his disciples.
Peter asked: “Where are you going?” and Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”
Jesus is the way. In a day of many world religions, we are told that there are many paths to God. Jesus makes it clear that there is only one true God and only one path to God, and that is through him and his sacrificial death and resurrection. He is not “a” way, but “the” way, the one and only way.
It is not multiple choice. If you are traveling any other path or direction other than that which is provided through Christ, you are headed the wrong way and will not end up at the proper destination of heaven.
Jesus is the truth. In him is no deceit, falsehood, compromise, misrepresentation, or deviation from ultimate reality and absolute fact. We live in a world that demands political correctness, which quite often stands diametrically opposed to biblical principles, morals and truth as it is embodied in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We are living in a day when secular humanism and relativism tells us there are no moral absolutes, no ultimate reality and no final authority for right or wrong, truth or error. We live in a day of adjustable morality, open to private interpretation, depending on the person, situation or circumstance. But such teaching is in clear violation to the truth of Scripture, regardless of how right it may seem, how good it may feel and how attractive and appealing it may look. Jesus is the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32).
Jesus is also the life. Life is one of the Apostle John’s favorite themes. Jesus is all about life. He is the creator and sustainer of life, both physically as well as spiritually. He has come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Apart from him we are dead in our sins, but he has come to give us new life. Life as its best is found in Jesus Christ. We can have this life here and now, and the promise of eternal life hereafter.
Jesus is the only way, the ultimate truth and the giver of life. By faith you can reach out and get connected with him today, and get started on the journey of a lifetime. The Rev. Wayne Rutherford LifePointe Church of the
Come, let us return to the Lord
Why did God take him from us? Why can’t the doctors figure out what is wrong with me? Why didn’t I get that opportunity I was so ready for? Why do I sometimes hurt …inside? Do you understand the answer to all those questions? Do you know why bad stuff happens?
Now, I suppose we could brush all that away and say, “Don’t worry about it, it will all be OK,” which it will. We should and could jump right to God’s promises which we never want to forget. But maybe there is something we can learn in heartache, maybe we today can learn the same lesson God strove to teach the Israelites through this — that sometimes God takes us through the depths in order to bring us to the heights. So let’s say with the Israelites, “Come, Let us return to the Lord.”
They needed a return. They had been so unfaithful to God that God told his prophet Hosea to take a prostitute for a wife to give them a picture of it. And he told Hosea to be faithful to that cheater wife and lavish love and gifts on her as a visual aid for the people of God’s treatment of them. Then he also told Hosea to warn the people of the destruction coming if they didn’t return and then once that destruction came, to remind them that this is what happens when the Lord gets put on the back burner. And all that happened.
So what does that matter to us? Well, if you’ve ever gotten too busy for God and you schedule your time with him based on what’s left instead of giving him what’s first, if your giving to God has ever been dictated by how much you have left after getting what you want — God is sending a Hosea to you.
Come, let us return to the Lord... but not like those Israelites. They figured they could return with a few outward actions, a few sacrifices, a few trips to church, some extra offerings, and God should be pleased — right? “Wrong,” God says.
And we have to watch for that same thing. All too often, we look at our relationship with God on the basis of what we do. Too many people out there (even some Christians) see Chris- tianity as a system of rules Christians have to keep in order to please God. Christians have to sacrifice, they think, to gain God’s approval. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
That’s exactly what God makes clear in verse 6: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” God doesn’t need our offerings. He doesn’t want our “sacrifices.” He wants our hearts and everything that flows from them. And he gets our mercy, our love, only when we see his. To see that, we look no farther than the one who stepped in and took all the curses we had coming in verse 5 of our text. Jesus, the one who came “not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” took our place at the harsh end of God’s wrath.
He loved us enough to give his life so that we can live. Paul writes, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He had mercy on us. He loves us. That’s why we love. That’s why we do what we do. That’s what it means to “return to the Lord” — just get back to loving him, being in his presence, singing his praises. So, to borrow a phrase again from our text, “Come, let us return to the Lord.” Pastor Jonathan Scharf
Abiding Grace Lutheran Church