Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on The Way, The Truth and The Life

Grace and peace to you all this 5th Sunday of Easter. Greetings to all of the mothers in our
congregations as we also celebrate Mother’s Day. It certainly is a very different way to honor
our mothers this year…but it is possible that finding the more “unusual” ways to acknowledge
and thank mothers is one that can grow as we move out of our current uneasy situation.

Let us pray: Dear Lord….as we come to you this Sunday…still separate, but united in our love
for you, be with us. Protect us. Guide us in how you want us to work with your people. We
thank you for mothers…those who are with you in your heavenly kingdom, those mothers still
with us and those who are working with our children Thank you for those who are working
tirelessly to keep us safe and well. Be with us as we listen to your words that we may
continually grow as your disciples. Amen

Our gospel lesson for this Sunday is from John 14:1-14. In this passage, Jesus is with His
disciples in the upper room…before his crucifixion. Just prior to this passage, Jesus has washed
the disciple’s feet. He has told the disciples that he will be betrayed and gave the piece of bread
to the one who would betray him, Judas. He informed Peter that he would deny Jesus three times
during the next day. Can you imagine how puzzled and sorrowful the disciples are at this time?
Not only that, but they are afraid as Jesus has told them He will not be with them much longer
and they know that the religious leaders and Jews are not happy with Jesus claiming he is the
Messiah and will soon learn issues He is facing.

Then…Jesus tells them “Do not be afraid.” I can just visualize that the disciples were quite
awestruck when He said that. I would possibly have asked the question, “Why am I not to be
afraid? When there have been so many disturbing things happening.” It appears that the
disciples trust Jesus’ words to not be afraid and do not question Him at all. What kind of
example would that be for us? Trust?? Absolutely.

While Jesus has been with his disciples in these last few days of His life, He has been teaching
them and attempting to prepare them for what is coming. Here, Jesus promises to return to them.
He promises them that He will be preparing a place for them in His Father’s dwelling place and
infers that He will come back to them.

When He states that they know the place where He is going, Thomas voices the thoughts of all
the eleven…that he does NOT know where Jesus is going. He wants to understand what Jesus is
saying and it is here that Jesus states, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” He also says, “No
one comes to the Father, but through me.”

Philip then asks, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” Here, you can almost hear
Jesus saying, “You mean that you have been with me all this time and you still do not really
know me?” I’m sure we would probably react in pretty much the same way if we were in that
room. These disciples had been following Jesus for 3 years and they still did not really know
Him. Jesus does rebuke him gently and moves right into talking about the link between himself
and the Father.
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Let’s discover what Jesus is talking about. The statement Jesus makes about “I am”….comprises
the key to what He is saying. The disciples lacked a total understanding of who Jesus was…and
He is trying to tell them that to see and know Christ is to recognize and know God himself. He
also assures the disciples that from this point on with all of the farewell teachings he would share
with them, they will know God.

Jesus goes on to tell the disciples that He speaks not on His own, but the Father dwells in Him.
It’s a very difficult and awesome concept for the disciples and for us to hear…that God is
revealed in Christ. They are one! Christ is a distinct person…part of God as is the Holy Spirit.

Let’s pause a minute and go back to the first chapter of Genesis…verse 26, where God say, “Let
us make man in our image.” The words “us” and “Our” indicate that Jesus and the Holy Spirit
were present in creation. There is a mutual indwelling of Father and Son. Jesus words are also
the Father’s.

Let’s also look at the first verse of the gospel of John. John, who was one of the disciples and
who was present at this event in the room with the other disciples says in that verse, “In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the
beginning with God.”

Do these verses and our view of what the disciples were experiencing make it possible for us to
understand what Jesus was saying to the eleven? Jesus is “the way”…he is the pathway to the
Father. He leads us to the Father.

Jesus is “the truth”. The truth sets us free and He will leave the disciples and us, his disciples
here and now, in the hands of the Spirit of truth.”

Jesus is “the life” because he came so that we could have life and have it eternally. He is the
life-giver. Life, for Jesus, in this passage is a relationship, just as the homes or dwelling places
he spoke of earlier and part of relationship. The relationship – that we have eternal life and we
know God and the one God sent – Jesus Christ. Jesus is the channel of blessing and gives us
grace according to the Father’s will. Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus.

The disciples DID know who Jesus was only after the resurrection. Then…they will know the
Father in greater depth. These disciples would go into the rest of the world, impowered by the
Spirit…for many centuries. This includes us…as we, too, are disciples.

Another aspect of this relationship is prayer and the power of prayer. If we pray in Jesus name,
we are his disciples and we are bringing our lives and prayers into agreement with Jesus. We
pray for those things he will bless. This is what John closes this section with…the power we
have in prayer.

How do these words speak to you? Do you believe that Jesus, the Father and the Spirit are one
and have been from the beginning? Do you find comfort in knowing that Jesus died for you, for
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forgiveness and for having a place prepared for you?

Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the true door into the sheepfold where life abounds,
in all those places where truth and life and served we see him.

Let us pray….Dear Jesus…thank you for the assurance that you are caring for us. Thank you for
showing us that you are the way, the truth, the life and our shepherd…keeping us safe. Thank
you for your forgiveness of our shortcomings and for making us one of your disciples. You bless
us daily and guide us in our lives. You are our shepherd…and the way, the truth and the life in
our lives. Amen

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