The Way of Christ – Part 1
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
As we enter into the Advent season, the time of year when we retell and reflect on the story of Christ’s coming to dwell as a man among mankind we would do well to remember that He came as the unique and only begotten Son of the Father. His purpose for coming was exclusive. He said of Himself that He did not come to save the righteous but to save sinners. In truth, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but some are convinced of their own righteousness and confess n need for a Savior. Though, surely, they desperately need one as do all humankind, Jesus did not come to save them in their arrogance, rebellion, ignorance and rejection of Him. His salvation was and is exclusively reserved for whosever will come and believe that He is Lord and that God has raised Him from the dead and therefore only by faith in His name can they be saved.
The way of Christ is exclusive, but not in an exclusive way. In other words it is not the exclusive way available only to a privileged few but the exclusive Way available to anyone who chooses to walk in it. It is not beyond the economy of some or restricted to the powerful or the strong. The offer to receive Him (the Way) is not withheld from any. It is exclusive because it is the only one. There is no other.
Imagine yourself standing in a crossroads where five tributary ways intersect. Now imagine that there are signs pointing to the place where each way leads. Four ways were wide and well manicured with green shrubs and bright flowers. Even the signs were gilded with gold. As far as the eye could see these ways were bright and shiny. Each sign though slightly different offered a desirable promise.
“This is a way to the high life.” This way was wide and smooth but very costly. The people on this way seemed to have no cares at all. Life to them was just one continuous party filled with every self-indulgent pleasure one could imagine. It promised everything…but the end of this way was poverty, loss and emptiness.
“This is a way to wisdom and true enlightenment.” This way was also wide and inviting. There were many people on this way, but no matter how many got on, there always seemed to be room for more. Oddly though they didn’t seem to be advancing down the way. They were all walking or running or crawling but they just remained in the same place professing great concepts and philosophies, searching the way for deeper knowledge to prove themselves wise but they only measured themselves by themselves so they were incessantly going over the same ground again and again and again but never coming to the truth. The end of his way was futility, nothing was gained and all that could be known was loss, ultimately this road also led to death without hope
“This is a way to heaven.” This way was very wide and smooth, with lots of people claiming all their good deeds and great generosity. Each one seemed to be trying to out do the other, bragging about their accomplishments for God. They had many names for the gods they served and many opposing ideas of who their gods were. In the end they all died with nothing but death and torment, alone and without the true God whom they rejected time and again in order to serve their own ideas.
“This is a way to great wealth and power.” This way was the widest of all and had the most people on it. All were vying for a better position on the way, lots of pushing, shoving and stepping over those who had fallen. Each one sacrificed little by little any ethical principles or idealism they might have held at the beginning of the way for one more chance at gaining more power. Some gained much on the way but each one eventually lost everything they were so desperately clinging to. Their end was pitiful and sad filled with misery and woe of never attaining what they lusted for and still empty they died without God and without hope of life.
“This is the Way that leads to life and that more abundantly in Jesus Christ.” This way, however, was noticeably different from the others. It was narrow but clean, not showy. It was inviting in a very subtle way. The sign on this way had no gilded edges but its words could be clearly read from near or far. Though there was room for many walking this road each person had his or her own path that guided them to their goal. Each person’s path was next to another’s and they could talk and interact with one another and even fellowship together. Those on this road were helping each other to stay on the road, encouraging them along the way and they supported one another when the path became hard to traverse. Each one walked in a great company of witnesses. The Son of God walked with each person on this Way. There were some stones and dips in the way. There were some sharp curves in it at times and even a few rough places to navigate. But there were benches to rest on by the side of the way from time to time.
Looking down the way there were large shade trees at some points and streams of water all along the way. Each person on the way was accompanied by angelic voices. Some were aware of them others were not sure but all walked on with hope. There were people who seemed to be reentering the way from time to time, a bit disheveled and tattered at first but after walking for a while they regained their strength and continued on the way. People on this way talked with one another and sang together praising the God who invited them to walk in this way. The end of this way could not be clearly seen but there was music that sounded from every step one took along the way.
And the sign on this way unlike the others was exclusive.
“I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
At the end of this Way there was indeed Life and the presence of God to welcome everyone who traveled…The Way.
This is the only Way…Jesus
This is only the Truth…Jesus
This is the only Life…Jesus
There is only one Lord…One faith…One Baptism...One God and Father of us all.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19