Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 10, 2012 …The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 315

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: John, Chapters 14-17 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: John 14: 1-7 : [NLT] … { I’ll leave it to you to read through these four chapters as I have this AM. There is so much upon which one could meditate and journal here. I’d love to journal on Jesus’ compassionate prayer in John 17; and anytime you feel down a bit, read that chapter and know that Jesus is praying for you in heaven RIGHT NOW. But today my journal comments below will center on some of the most reassuring words of Jesus in the NT; and they come from His “Upper Room Discourse,” where the Disciples had gathered to celebrate Passover (and the first Eucharist) before Jesus was to be betrayed by Judas, captured, and tried so unjustly by the Romans and the Sanhedrin. These words are from Jesus as recoded in John 14: 1-7. } … 
1 “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. 3When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4And you know where I am going and how to get there.” 
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is.£ From now on you know him and have seen him!” 

My Journal for Today: Well, this morning I take in another big chronological gulp from the NT, as I’m led into four Chapters from John where Jesus is dealing with some very nervous and fearful disciples. In John’s account, the disciples in the so-called “Upper Room,” and quite fearful about Jesus letting them know that He’s “going away.” And in John 14-16, what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse.,” Jesus tries His best to let His inner core of followers know that He, The Lord, … the Messiah, … is not going to abandon them; … that He will send them another, … the Holy Spirit, … to be their comforter, protector, and connection with The Father in heaven … forever. And in this discourse, followed by Jesus’ poignant and powerful prayer for His disciples (and that includes all Christians) in John 17, we read some words from Jesus which have become VERY, VERY controversial in our day.

And this controversy springs from the words in John 14: 6, which I’ve emboldened as well as underlined in the text from the highlight section of John 14 I’ve copied above, where Jesus quite forcefully claims that NO ONE can – or will – be saved and come into an eternal relationship with God unless they do so through a declared faith in Him, and Him alone, as Messiah.

That’s really a very simple statement; but if taken at face value, Jesus is saying that no one will find themselves in Heaven unless they get there by believing in Jesus; … and that kind of exclusivity does not go over well in today’s cultural push for “tolerance” and the desire of so many to be spiritually INCLUSIVE. But Jesus so clearly claims in that one statement, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

And if we are to believe Jesus and the Bible, there are so many contemporary spiritual gurus, like Oprah Winfrey, claiming that all religions ultimately lead to salvation, who are leading themselves and millions of others into hell with their false teachings.

 So, Jesus was trying His best to belay the fears of His disciples with words they would forget as He went to the cross; but they are words that they would grab back onto after the resurrection and as they went out to preach the Gospel truth. Here’s what my Parsons Commentary says about John 14:6:  “Jesus says He is the only way to God the Father. Some people may argue that this way is too narrow. In reality, it is wide enough for the whole world, if the world chooses to accept and follow it. Instead of worrying about how limited it sounds to have only one way, we should be saying, “Thank you, God, for providing a sure way to get to you!” As THE WAY, Jesus is our path to the Father. As THE TRUTH, He is the reality of all God’s promises. As THE LIFE, He joins His divine life to ours, both now and eternally.”

And that’s really all I would need to write about what I gleaned today from these four chapters from John’s gospel writings. It’s certainly enough to give eternally powerful comfort for me. How about you?

My Prayer Today: … Yes, Jesus! … You ARE the way, the truth, and the life; and by believing in You, I will be with You forever. Amen

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