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“I am the way, the truth, and the life”

March 31, 2023
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Daily Scripture

John 14:1-9

1 “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. 2 My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? 3 When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. 4 You know the way to the place I’m going.”
5 Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have really known me, you will also know the Father. From now on you know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Just before this, Jesus told his disciples he would only be with them physically a little while longer (cf. John 13:33-38). To their troubled questions, he gave two key replies. He assured them that his Father’s house has room to spare—no one need miss out. And, he said, “you know the way” there. But taking him literally, Thomas asked, “How can we know the way?” And Jesus answered with a powerful “I AM” statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

  • Pastor Hamilton wrote, “Most mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, and a sizable number of evangelicals [believe]… Jesus is the only Savior of the world…. [but] Jesus’ saving grace can be given to whomever God chooses…. it appears in Scripture that many who sought to know and love God, but did not know Christ, will in the end… receive the gift of his saving grace.” * Jesus wasn’t abstractly describing “people who never heard of Jesus.” He asked his disciples, who knew him well, to trust him as he died on the cross. Do you trust Jesus’ words: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”?
  • The apostle Paul said some people outside the “right” faith “instinctively do what the Law requires” and “show the proof of the Law written on their hearts” (cf. Romans 2:11-16). There were and are honest people beyond Judeo-Christian faith who lovingly respond to God. Can you trust that Jesus’ grace extends to them?
Prayer

Lord Jesus, you came to be “the way” for every member of your human family willing to be a citizen of God’s kingdom. Give me a heart that knows you yearn to redeem everyone and rejoices in all who respond. Amen.

GPS Insights

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

In today’s passage Jesus tells His disciples that His Father’s house has many rooms & that He has gone to prepare a place for them. Naturally, my favorite disciple, Doubting Thomas, has many questions. I imagine he would want to call the 1-800 number to learn a bit more about heaven. Here is how I think it might go:

Good morning!  Thanks for calling the Holy Day Inn–God’s Innkeeper.1 This is Mary Ott. How can I help you? Well hello, Thomas. I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Yes, I understand your frustration. Our brochure describing our resort is rather scarce on the details. Well, you see, Jesus’ mission wasn’t to tell everyone about heaven. Rather His mission was to help people understand that God wants to create the Kingdom of God on earth like it is in heaven. So Jesus wants everyone to focus on the here & now–not the hereafter. As our friend John Wesley noted, with such limited time on earth, each of us should try to do all the good we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, to all the people we can, as long as we can. 2

What’s that? You like our brochure’s picture of the vintage sign, advertising that we have Air Conditioning & Ice Machines? Well, a marketing consultant suggested this would be a good way to differentiate us from the competition – if you get my drift.

You’re a tad skeptical about whether we’ll have enough rooms? You needn’t worry. After His Mom gave birth in a feeding trough in Bethlehem because there was no room in the Inn, you can count on Jesus to make sure there are plenty of rooms for you.

No. You don’t need a reservation. God opted against giving out reservations, because some would think there is a maximum occupancy or some folks would get the impression that they are pre-destined to stay here, which would weaken their faith walk. Also, God didn’t want to discount the power & beauty of repentance as people change the course of their lives. Just between us, God gets quite giddy each time one of His children chooses to come back home.

Hang on Thomas; I have a guest at the desk. What’s that, Howard? There’s no water in the pool? Again? Oh, that Moses! 3 I’ll make sure it is corrected, Mr. Johnson.

I’m back, Thomas. No. You won’t need any luggage. We don’t even have any bellhops. As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you. Oh, we did have one wealthy gentleman who brought several roller bags full of gold. He was quite befuddled when we said we would use it to pave the pathway to the gazebo. 4

Oh yes, we do have lots of ballrooms. You won’t believe how many family reunions we host each day. It really gets out of hand sometimes when the karaoke machine starts cranking, “We are Family!” What’d you think? We just sat around strumming harps all day?

Augh. Thomas, please hold. What’s that, Peter? You’ve lost your keys to the Pearly Gates, again? Where in heaven do you think you left them this time? 5

I’m back. You’d like a room on the ground floor? No problem. There is no differentiation. All our rooms are on the same level with a fantastic garden view. Adam & Eve have really made it into a paradise. By the way, you’re like the 12th person to ask if we had a stairway to heaven. It’s crazy where these ideas come from.

No, we don’t have a shuttle bus. We do have a chariot steered by our driver, Elijah. We joke that the way he drives, he’s our best salesperson–he’s scared the “heck” out of more people than anyone. 6

One sec, Thomas. Yes, Ma’am? John the Baptist keeps asking if he can dunk you in the pool? Sigh. Yes, I’ll talk to him. 7

Ok–I’m back. Right, we do have unlimited Wi-Fi. The password is: JESUSISMYSAVIOR!. Oh, and for obvious reasons Apple products are discouraged.

So, how do you get a room here? It’s not that complicated. You arrive at the concierge desk & are greeted by Jesus. If you haven’t already had the opportunity to receive Jesus8 you can accept His offer, then Jesus escorts you to the front desk, & we get you all checked in. Thanks to Jesus, there is nothing to fear.

You are very welcome, Thomas. And Thomas? One last thing: We’ll leave the light on for you. 9 No doubt about it.

1 This is a paraphrase of Holiday Inn & their original slogan, “The Nation’s Innkeeper.”
2 www.goodreads.com/quotes
3 Moses WAS good at parting the waters.  (Exodus 14:21-22)
4 Heaven’s streets are described (though perhaps symbolically) as being paved with gold. (Revelation 21:21)
5 The gates are described as being made of pearl (Revelation 21:21) & Peter is given the keys. (Matthew 16:18-19)
6 Elijah was last seen being taken to heaven in a chariot. (2 Kings 2:11)
7 John would be in the habit of dunking/baptizing people.  (Matthew 3:4-6)
8 We can become a believer by confessing Jesus as your Lord. (Romans 10:9)
9 This was the 1996 advertising slogan for Motel 6.

© 2022 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Hamilton, Adam. Christianity and World Religions, Revised Edition. (p. 24-25). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.