April 23, 2017

The True Way to Life

John 14:1-17

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.

—  John 14:6-7

After washing the feet of his disciples (John 13), Jesus tells them he will soon be leaving to prepare a home for them in God’s presence. Thomas asks, “How can we know the way?” Jesus then reveals the central truth of his identity: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Jesus says he will prepare places in his Father’s house for all his followers. Some older Bible versions also translate “rooms” as “mansions.” Growing up near Newport, Rhode Island, a place with many mansions, I often dreamed of living in one. But, of course, any place with God is infinitely better than the grandest castle without him.

Right now Jesus is preparing our eternal home with God. What really matters for us, though, is how to get there. Jesus says he is the true and only way to the Father. To our pluralistic world, Jesus’ claim sounds politically incorrect. But God gave his only Son (John 3:16) for salvation. And, on our own, we can’t find our way to him; we just keep going our own way, astray from God. We must trust him to bring us home. For now, we follow his way “by grace . . . through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), by loving God wholeheartedly and loving others (Matthew 22:37-39).

If we belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ, we needn’t worry. We are already with him, walking the true way to life!

Lord Jesus, you are the only way to the Father, the whole truth of God and eternal life. Help us to follow you as you lead us each day. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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