Monday, February 6, 2012

I am the way, truth, and the life

Hwai En/ Agape (mandarin) Methodist Church
27th November, 2011/ 5th Feb, 2012
Written By Rev Law Hui Seng
Posted By Teresa Han

John 14:1-15
Main Idea: Jesus is the way to life
Objective: To teach the congregation that Jesus is the way in our life.

A. Introduction

- Have you ever had this experience? Somebody gave you an address, you went the wrong way, you turned the wrong corner, you are supposed to turn right, but you turn left. Subsequently, you lost your way. You get the right way, road, direction, you find the place.

- A series of Singapore drama shows called ‘The Most Fiery Partnership’ in mandarin caught my attention. Especially in the last few episodes I learnt that a boy who was given a wrong indoctrination by his uncle. He was taught by his uncle to grow up to take revenge for his father. Actually, his father was accidentally killed by one of his fellow CIDs (they were 5 in a team). However, he was taught that 4 of them killed his father. Ever since, he studied hard and tried all means to get into police force to take revenge. He did and he killed 3 of them. Before he killed the last one, his plan was discovered and he was arrested. He was told the actual story of his father’s death. 5 of them managed to ambush some drug traffickers and they secretly kept the Singapore dollar 600 thousand. Eventually, when they looked for the money. Each of the 5 denied its where about. The boy’s father was the greatest suspect. He was accidentally killed in a conflict that pursuit. The investigating officer discovered his father was the culprit.
- I want to show that when a person is given a wrong goal, idea, direction in life, like the boy above, he will work hard to achieve that target. But that target is not the truth, the real facts, and most important of all it is something true. He blindly works so hard for it. Whatever action, effort, and all the so called energy he took, he hit at the wrong target. Just because he was shown the wrong way, the wrong road. Given wrong target, the way, the means used to hit the target is also wrong.

- In today’s passage, Jesus says He is the way of life. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) If we come to Jesus, He will always show us the right way to achieve our target, our goal, or whatever we need in life. It can be problem to be solved, a crisis, etc.

B. The context of the John 14: 6
- Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” (John 14:6) The whole passage before this, starting from verse 1 is about how Jesus comforting His disciples because he was leaving them, they were worried. We can understand the disciples’ anxiety because they had spent 3 years of their lives with Jesus, witnessing Him performing miracles, listening to His best powerful teaching, healing of the sick, prayers and chasing out demons. Now, Jesus said that He wanted to leave them, it was unavoidable that they were anxious, lost in direction, they did not know the way forward. If you were the disciples, will you think so?

- No wonder Jesus needed to comfort them, instructing them that He was going to prepare the place for them. He even said that He was coming back to receive them to go the place He would go. He told them the way and the place he was going. Despite the instruction of where He was going Thomas was still honest to say that he did not know the way Jesus was going. Therefore, Jesus has to answer and say, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life…’

- Jesus is also very clear in instructing that seeing Him is equal to seeing His father. Because Philip once again requested to show His Father, Jesus again said that seeing Him is equivalent to seeing His Father. He further explained that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. The words He said to the disciples were all from His father. They have such intimacy and close communication.

- In the process of explanation about the way, the promise made by Jesus is very serious. A promise that always challenges and inspires me to do great job for Jesus. A promise that always drives me to prayer to trust Him.

- In verse 12, He simply promises that those who have faith in Him, they will do greater works than Him, as He goes to the father! How to do it? I strongly believe the answer is found in verse 13 and 14. It is in prayer. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” I cannot afford to miss this promise. Whenever I do God’s work, I realize Jesus will give me the power to accomplish the impossible task. If I ask anything in His name, He will do it. If I do not ask in His name He will not do it. The crucial question now is “Have I asked in His name?”

- How to ask in Jesus’ name? Is it as simple as praying and end in the name of Jesus? For some may be so. For those who think Jesus can be manipulated; who replace Jesus just as an idol; who are not submissive to Jesus in our life and live a sinful life; who treat Jesus like a maid; who wants to fulfill our own greed and personal desire; our prayers in the name of Jesus is just speaking to the air, it has no power at all.

- For those who simply come before Jesus, with a repentant heart, admitting our total helplessness; confessing our deepest sin and willingness to do Jesus’ desire; and expressing our total dependence on Jesus and Him alone, our prayers, then, are done in Jesus’ name.

- This is because Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.” Only when we come to realize that Jesus is the way for everything, only then, we realize do the impossible for Him. Only then, we can even do greater things than Him.

- Therefore, what is the greatest problem, trouble, hurdle, worry, anxiety, sin, sickness, etc bothering you now? Have you come to Jesus as He is the way to your solution?

C. The way, the truth, and the life

- I believe this phrase is not just referring to the way of eternal life. It has a deep meaning. Jesus is the source of the way, the truth and the life. The reason is simple because He is God.

- Therefore, when you and I pray in the name of Jesus, He answers, He will make sure we do greater things than Him.

- The question is why Jesus must first say “I am the way”? Why Jesus does not first say “I am the truth” or “I am the eternal life”?

- E. Stanely Jones, American United Methodist Church famous missionary, a man filled with strong conviction to make disciples among the Indian. He lived for more than 80 years and he spent 50 years in India. He wrote more than 30 books. He wrote in his book called “Word Became Flesh” (in my possession), he asked the readers that question.

- I believe his answer is very revealing. I pray that you will understand his simple answer.

- He said only in Jesus you find the truth and life. This is because Jesus is the source of all truth and life. Jesus is the way that gives the truth and the life. Therefore, the way must be first.

D. Applications
- When we have whatever need (whatever challenges in life), after we are sure of it, ultimately we need to find a method, a solution or a way to solve the problem or meet the need correct or not?

- Today, if you are able to grasp the teaching of Jesus regarding He is the way…, when we have challenges, we will quickly come to Jesus to ask Him to show us the way to meet our needs. This is because He is the way, the source to solve our problems, to meet our deepest needs.

- Then, your understanding of Jesus and His teachings, your relationship with Him becomes very significant. The more you know Him, the more intimate a relationship you will have with Him. A relationship between God and a human being. With that relationship, you will be able to come His way all the time. His way of everything will flow to you! Have you got it?

- A lot of time, we are not familiar with Jesus and His teachings, therefore, it is very difficult for us to talk about an intimate relationship with Jesus. Therefore, we do not know He is the way to everything, and of course, most of the times, we do not come to Him when we have all the challenges in life.

- Take note, human way or method is always full of hatred, revenge, jealousy, selfishness, greed, cunning, hypocrite, etc.

- Jesus’ way is peace, joy, let go, submit our worries to Him, see the success of others and allow others to become our teachers, …

- At the moment, I have brought several needs before Jesus: whether I allow my daughter to go overseas or not? How to help my mother side, the Chieng’s family to come to know Jesus and be saved? Seeking His guidance to develop a cross cultural disciple making pastoral model.

- I still seek the help of Jesus on how to help my 4 children to develop godly characters in their life. I have getting answers from Jesus through reading books on bringing up boys and girls; through listening to my deep inner voice in my time of quietness with Him. He speaks to me when I pray, when I listen to songs or when I praise Him in singing; when I am attending a worship. I am always reminded by Jesus to show good example in my life to my children.

- Recently, as I pray for my children, Jesus reminded me to get the 3 younger children to do one BM sentence again. I obey and I start to do it again this year. Over the phone I get to pray for them again and again.

E. Conclusion
- If we do not, by all means come to Jesus, you see how much we miss in life.
- I pray that you see my point that if you miss Jesus, you miss everything in life. All that you need in life is found in Jesus, so, if you miss Him, you miss everything, really.