How Can We Know the Way?
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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.”
I took this picture of the interstate highway exchange in Portland while traveling in the giant tram that runs above the city up to Oregon Health Sciences University. I was stunned by the complex and confusing array of roads just running in and out of this one interchange of freeways. And how difficult it can be to choose just the right road at just the right moment or risk ending up in a very different place than you might want to be.
Sounds like life, doesn’t it? Every day you and I are faced with complex and confusing arrays of decisions that determine all sorts of major and minor destinies of ours. Every decision has potential good or bad outcomes, every turning point can determine all sorts of consequences for you. Life can feel daunting, threatening, fearful, even overwhelming at times.
Perhaps that is what you are facing today, all sorts of decisions that could determine your short and long term future. How will you choose? How will you know what is best for you? What is the right choice to make at the right time?
Into the midst of our anxious lives, Thomas’ words have special meaning, “… how can we know the way?” What way is the right way? How can we know where we ought to go, where we ought to turn?
Jesus answers, “I am the way…” Jesus’ words stop us short. Jesus is the way? Surely he means that “he knows the way”, or “he can help us know the way”. No, you heard it right the first time, “Jesus is the way.”
There may be many ways that seem right, many ways that seem welcoming, but there is only one way, only one way to the Father, only one way to truth, only one way to life, the way of Jesus. We follow Him, His cross, His life, His grace. There may be many ways that seem right to a man, but there is only one way that leads to life. That is Jesus.
Once you are following Jesus, the other minor decisions have a way of sorting themselves out. Once you know where you are going for eternity, everything else falls into perspective. And you don’t have to live in anxiety and fear and confusion.
How can we know the way? The answer is both simple and profound. The answer… Jesus is the way.
Lord Jesus, you are the way, the truth, and the life. I confess that I am easily confused and anxious about even the simplest decisions. But I choose you again today. I choose to continue to follow you. You are the way. Amen.
Text and Picture Copyright Steve Nickodemus