Sunday, November 4, 2012
The Way is a Person
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me". John 14:5,6
Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Notice he doesn’t hold up a book and say “Behold the way…” This is interesting. He might have gotten an “Amen” had he declared dogma and doctrine or canon and creed to be the way. Instead his words, “I am the way…” get akward stares, misunderstanding and questions.
The way is a person. If the way is a book or static words on paper, it puts us in control. That is to say, access to the way could be manipulated by how we choose to interpret words on paper. The way would degenerate from those words to our interpretation of those words, and quickly our interpretation would become the way, the truth and the life. Finally, we would begin to say who was in or out by way of our opinion. If not careful, we might begin to divide along lines of different interpretation. Try real hard and you can imagine we might even form separate groups or denominations for the sake of preserving our interpretations and opinions. Perhaps we would make accepting our interpretation prerequisite for membership into our divided churches. So it is a good thing Jesus didn’t say a book is the way or doctrine and dogma are the way or that creeds are the way, so that doesn’t have to happen…Right?
The way is a person, and to commend the way, the truth and the life to others we must do more than hand them a book. The Word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105) – it is light for the way. The book facilitates, the book is a given necessity, the book is authoritative, but the book has an author and the author is a person. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” ( John 1:14)
The truth is commended by virtue of a way and a life lived. Not a theoretical life, it is an authentically lived life. People don’t follow because you read Scripture so much as that you live Scripture. We cannot save a generation by giving them information. They need transformation. Transformation requires trans-personal transaction. “They shall know the truth and the truth shall make them free” and the truth is a person.
The saying is, “Some things are caught more than taught”. How do we pass down the truth? The Apostle Paul says, “Follow me as I follow Christ”. Are you a lover of the Word? - Be a liver of the Word. The old adage, “Seeing is believing” applies. The best apologetic is a living example. Our lives become the word of the Lord to others. “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
Some in the church have a misguided sense of obligation to provide a scientifically verifiable case for the factuality of the Scriptures, but in this they may be attempting to answer questions no one is asking. What authenticates for this generation is not facts, but authenticity - lived faith, authentic living. Previous generations wanted to see a list – this one requires a life. Whereas past generations would have asked, “What do you believe?” this one watches for what you live…who you are.
The way is a person. The way is preserved by persons. The way is commended and passed down by way of persons. Books, books, books…there is no end to the writing. We have more books than we can burn. What we need now is a person.
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” ( John 1:17)