Greetings to all of you! Today is Mother’s Day and we give thanks to God for all our mothers who have shown us something about the love of God. May God continue to bless all the mothers and use them for his glory.
We are now in lockdown 3.0 and we don’t know as yet how many more versions there are yet to come after the 17th of May. Many of us are still under great anxiety either about the Corona Virus or the fear of death that just in case we get the virus whether we would survive or not. Others may be frustrated that they have not been able to get out of the house or that they have not been able to go for a close friend’s funeral because of the lockdown.
Many others who had planned their weddings months ago have had to cancel their bookings with almost not knowing when they can plan to hold their wedding. Our hearts are troubled and anxious in these uncertain times. We don’t know what the future holds for us. It is in this kind of a context that God’s word speaks to us to encourage us and to give us direction.
Today is the fourth Sunday after Easter and the theme for our meditation is, ‘Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We will be working through the Gospel of John Chapter 14:1-14. I want us to look at this section under four headings: 1) Jesus gives comfort in a troubled world; 2) Jesus gives direction in a lost world; 3) Jesus reveals truth in a world of relativism, ignorance and deceit; and 4) Jesus gives life to a dying world.
Jesus gives comfort in a troubled world. Jesus addresses his disciples saying ‘Do not let not your hearts be troubled’ – Believe in God, Believe in Me- Belief is the key criteria in knowing Jesus as the way to eternal life. Jesus was going back to the Father and he was preparing his disciples by reassuring them that they would be with him.
Jesus knew that the disciples would feel lost without his physical presence in the near future and therefore assures them of what lay ahead for them. Jesus is reassuring them that his death would not be the last step but there was eternal life in the Father’s presence. Jesus proved this by defeating death and rising again on the third day. Death has been defeated. Therefore, the fear of death due to this Corona pandemic should not engulf us. God’s word reassures us. Do not Let your hearts be troubled.
Secondly, Jesus is the Way. We don’t know where we are going in this journey of life. We don’t know our destination. What happens when we die? What am I doing on this earth? Jesus claims that he is the Way. He is the way to God because he has gone through the paths of suffering, the horrific death on the cross and the experience of the resurrection. Through his suffering and death, he has paved the way for us to go to the Father. The way to the place where we will be if we believe in him as our Lord and Saviour.
Jesus is the way to salvation. Jesus is the way to forgiveness. Jesus is the only way to reach the Father. The Father’s conditions for entry into his kingdom is that we believe in his Son Jesus. We are called to get on to this Way by faith in Chirst and continue on it through obedience.
Thirdly Jesus is the Truth. We live in a post-modern world where everything is relative. In a world of relativism there is something known as truth. Pilate asked ‘What is truth?’ when questioning Jesus. Jesus is the truth of God. We all cannot have a Jesus according to our liking. We need to look at the truth of scriptures and see what they reveal to us. Jesus reveals the truth about the Father. He is the mediator of the revelation of God. Seeing God means to have fellowship with Jesus. Because Jesus is the means of access to God who is the source of all truth and life, he himself is the source of all truth and life for people.
Jesus himself is the truth – the truth of God. Only through Jesus can we understand who God is. The character of God is the same as the character of Jesus. We know that God is a loving Father, a compassionate and caring God, one who heals, one who cares for the poor and the oppressed and one who can forgive sins through what Jesus did and revealed.
If we are followers of Jesus then truth should be important for us. We live in a world where truth is a casualty. Right from the Fall where Satan questions the integrity of God by saying, ‘Did God really say that you should not eat from the fruit of the garden?’ Till today we see that the lack of truth and integrity are the very fingerprints of Satan. Wherever we go we see lies and half-truths.
Finally, Jesus is the Life. Jesus is the one who is the author of life – both in Creation and in New Creation. In Jesus we find life in the context of death whether it is of guilt or addiction, or birth or lineage or fear or death itself. Though we were created in the image and likeness of God, we all have the propensity to sin because of the entry of sin through the Fall. Good and bad exist in us and so does strength and weakness. Many of us think that we are nice people because we don’t rob banks, or murder or rape or commit other such heinous crimes. But when we look at our lives in contrast to the life of Jesus then we realise how much we have fallen short of God’s standards.
C.S. Lewis wrote: ‘For the first time I examined myself with a seriously practical purpose. And there I found what appalled me; a zoo of lusts, a bedlam of ambitions, a nursery of fears, a harem of fondled hatreds. My name was Legion.’We need to die to our sinful selves and take on this new life which God is offering us in and through Jesus.
So as we see Jesus as the Comforter in a troubled world, and as the Way the Truth and the Life, may we truly find his comfort in the midst of anxiety and chaos; follow the Way that he has set before us to enter his Kingdom; to know the truth of God as revealed to us through Jesus and enjoy the life abundant here and now and life eternal in the world to come.
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