(This is the sixth post in a 7-part series on Jesus’ description of Himself)
During Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, he spoke of the eternal.
His disciples remained caught up in the daily.
He told them “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)
They had heard about truth and life.
But “the way“?
They struggled to grasp the meaning.
Where exactly was “the way“?
I would have asked the same thing. We all want to know the right direction, the correct way to go. We talk about the “road less traveled” and the “fork in the road.” This language permeates our culture.
I recently read Bruce Olson’s autobiography, Buchko (thank you for the recommendation, Samuel John). Bruce shared Christ with the primitive Motilone people of Columbia. His missionary experience has been difficult, brutal at times, but always inspired by the Lord!
Bruce struggled with how to describe grace, salvation, and incarnation with the stone-age tribe. Finally the opportunity arrived. He used a story from the tribe’s own folklore about a Motilone who became an ant to help the insects learn to live better. He had walked the way of the ant. The path of the ant.
Bruce wrote “Every Motilone has his own trail. It is his personal point of identity. You walk on someone’s trail if you want to find him. God would have a trail, too. If you want to find God, you walk on His trail.” (Bruchko, Kindle location 1556)
Literally, every Motilone has own path in the Columbian jungle. Literally, to find him you follow his path…go his way. As Bruce related Christ’s incarnation to the ant story and “the path“, the Motilone comprehended the profound message of the Divine. The tribe became forever changed…they each chose to step onto His path and to go His Way.
Jesus used this analogy to describe the choice required for the Believer. The choice is profound and path is eternal. The people of the early Christian church were actually referred to as “people of the Way.” (Check out Acts 9:2, 19:9 and 19:23.) They chose His path.
Whose Way Today?
I frequently get caught up in the daily. The constant needs and problems distract me from the Lord’s overall plan. As I focus on the proverbial tree, I completely miss the beauty of the proverbial forest. God wants us to focus on the eternal. It’s critical when seeking to stay on the path. The Lord will help with each of the trees we encounter!
Ok… but how?? After the “I am the way” statement and the disciples’ resulting confusion, Jesus told them that they do already know the way to God. It is through faith that we step onto the path and do the Father’s will. (John 14:12) Sometimes, it’s a leap of faith… nevertheless, it still is the step onto the path.
Are you on God’s trail? Are you on the Path that leads to the Lord?
If so, does being a follower of the Way, impact your everyday choices? Or are your everyday choices stepping you off the Path of eternity?
Final post in this series: The Vine
Interested in spending more time with Jesus’ “I am” statements in the book of John? Visit the beginning of the “I am” series!
What a wonderful picture of The Way, Sharon. Thanks!
Sharon R Hoover says
Hi Judy! The book, Bruchko, gave me such an incredible example of someone stepping out for their faith…and leading others onto the path of faith. It was the perfect way to continue in this “I Am” series! I hope you are doing well. Blessings, Sharon
Hold the Faith says
Your post is interesting :) I have spent over a year immersed in the Bible, researching for the Apostle John series. (Hold the Faith and the soon to be published second book in the series, Grow in Grace.).
The Way, was something that is very apparent in the lives of those early Christians. It cost some their lives, was too hard for others… and made them targets for persecution.
I often wonder about my witness. It is much easier to be Christian when living in comfortable times but would I ‘stand up and be counted’ if my life was at stake? I can only hope so.
Thank you for another interesting post
Sharon R Hoover says
So true, Susan! Living The Way in my 21st century life is nothing like the persecution of the early Christians or believers in some parts of the world today. I hope that I would make a decision to be a faithful follower in all situations. Being blessed in our circumstances, we can seek to share our faith through our everyday actions and words.
Congrats on your next book! When does “Grow in Grace” come out?
Hold the Faith says
Life has a habit of ‘getting in the way’. Hospital appointments, shopping and chopping up the veges for soup. However, it is my aim to have the book published on Kindle and Smashwords by the beginning of September.
I don’t want to publish it before it is properly edited and proofed. It can be so annoying reading books with spelling and grammar errors.
WordPress.com Support says
I look forward to September then! I’m hoping life’s interruptions are minimal between now and then!