You know the guy. There is one in every crowd. Either because he has no sense of self-awareness, or just has no sense, he always blurts out a question from somewhere deep in left field. But if you are honest, you also know that this guy is usually the one who asks the question everyone else is thinking.
In John 14:5, Thomas is that guy. Jesus has been preparing His disciples for His departure, and is seeking to comfort their troubled hearts. He has told them that He was going to His Father’s house. Then in verse 4, Jesus says, “You know the way to where I am going.” Thomas’ response? “What are you talking about? We don’t know where you are going, or how to get there. How could we?”
Oh Thomas....thank you for asking the question that we were all afraid to ask. It is the question that reveals the troubled hearts Jesus warned about in John 14:1. Isn’t uncertainty one of your greatest concerns? Uncertainty over life, and over death? We’re uncertain because we can’t see far enough. Usually we can’t see past the mirror, because we are just so focused on ourselves. Yet, in the midst of that uncertainty, and of our own troubled hearts, Jesus gives a command: BELIEVE. “Believe in God; believe in me.” (John 14:1)
Why do we have so much trouble with this command? The truth is, some of us don’t know, or are confused by, the WAY Jesus speaks of. And then others of us are offended by the WAY Jesus speaks of.
For those that don’t know or are confused, I would tell you that Jesus says “I AM the WAY.” He is reminding us that the gospel is about a person, not a path. Thomas, like us, was confused about this. He wanted Jesus to give him directions. He might even have liked a set of coordinates he could plug into his GPS, just to make the journey a little easier to follow. Or, maybe he just wanted Jesus to leave some breadcrumbs for him to follow. But Jesus doesn’t lead the way. He is the way. He doesn’t tell us what to do so that we can be with the Father. He tells us to believe in Him...and to believe in Him with a faith that rests and receives Him alone for salvation.
This is a point of great confusion for us. Often times, we don’t want gospel. We want motivation. We want self help. We want a coach. Sadly, our churches have become ripe with teaching on the path of Christ and not the person of Christ. The result is that while some of us don’t know about this Person, others of us are confused thinking that the Person is a role model instead of a Savior.
Yet, there are others of us who are not so much confused, as we are offended. We read John 14:6 (I am THE way) with an emphasis on exclusivity, and we don’t like it. To that, I would say that the gospel is indeed exclusive. Make no mistake, Jesus is the only way to the Father. I am just a little perplexed at the problem with this. It would seem to me that a man who is drowning, would not reject the hand that was pulling him out of the water, simply because it was the only hand offered. He would be thankful that he had life. If you are wrestling with Christianity, and are offended by the exclusivity of Christ, let me refer you back to our writing on grace, or our preaching on grace. Dear friend, know your need, and know the grace that has been shown you in the midst of your need. Then, take hold of the ONE who entered into that need.
If you are wrestling with Christianity, for whatever reason, I want to invite you to join us at Christ Church PCA. We’re not here to put on false fronts. In fact, we can relate to that guy (Thomas), who would ask the question everyone was thinking. But we are also a church that will unashamedly point to Jesus Christ as the exclusive, and gracious, Savior of sinners. We are a people who know our need for Him because of our sin. We are a people who have been, and are being, transformed by His grace. And, we are a people who believe wholeheartedly that in Scripture Alone, we find our salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, to the Glory of God Alone.