THEME: JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE
READINGS: Acts 6:1-7; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12
5th Sunday of Easter
Today, let us reflect on this eternal life-assurance statement of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6). No one else either in the Bible or outside the Bible has made such a great claim! We will reflect on this verse by looking at what Jesus means by being: (1) the Way; (2) the Truth; and (3) the Life. Furthermore, in each of the above cases, we will look at three different meanings, indicating the unique manner in which Jesus is the Way, the Truth or the Life.
THE WAY: Let’s look at three meanings.
(a) Someone may claim to show you the way to a destination, but he may misdirect you for lack of knowledge of where you intend to go; or he may even rob you (imagine an armed robber pretending to be a ‘Good Samaritan’, and you inviting him to sit in your car to direct you). Similarly, leaders of idol-worship and of occultism may be misdirecting their adherents as far as the way of salvation is concerned.
(b) Secondly, someone may know the way to your destination, and give you directions to your destination, while he/she may not be going there. He/she becomes like a sign-post, pointing to your destination. In the Bible, Moses, for instance, was like a director or sign-post directing the Israelites to the Promised Land, but he himself did not get to that destination (cf. Deut. 32:48-52).
(c) Now, consider a situation where the person whom you ask to show you the way to, for example, Mr. Surufie’s house is his very son who happens to be on his way home; and so he leads you home without any worry as to whether the arrow on the sign-post is accurate or not. Jesus, the Son of God and the only mediator between God and man, is our Way in this third sense: He is the Only Son of the Father who takes or leads us to our heavenly destination. I, therefore, pray that while Jesus keeps the Way to heaven ever open to us, He may open other doors of opportunities for us. Amen!
THE TRUTH: Again, let’s consider three scenarios.
(a) We may have someone who knows the truth or does not know it, but tells us lies (often to take advantage of us). An example is a cocaine middleman who may deceive someone assuring him of the advantages of smuggling the illegal drug, only for the naïve person to end up in a jail.
(b) Secondly, many people can rightly claim to know the truth or facts of science, economics, etc. but none can claim to be the truth itself. Solomon, for instance, had the great wisdom to know the truth of God’s commandments and promises, yet he went astray, because he was not truth itself. The prophet Elijah, in turn, had the zeal to proclaim the truth of God, but he did not have the courage to face Queen Jezebel who was against the truth the prophet preached.
(c) But Jesus, who is greater than Solomon and Elijah, had not only the wisdom and zeal for the truth, He had also the courage to faithfully stand by the truth (even before the Sanhedrin and Pilate), because He is the very Truth of salvation! Thus, He could not run away from Himself; He could not be unfaithful to Himself! Jesus is uniquely the truth in a way no founder or leader of a religion could claim! In this light, then, I pray that we would always tell the truth, for in doing so we proclaim and honour Christ, the Ultimate Truth. Amen!
THE LIFE: Once again, let’s consider three senses of life.
(a) One may be led to death, for instance, by a friend who claims to be giving him/her life. For example, when a friend advises that the way out of a pregnancy is abortion, and the unsafe method leads to death.
(b) Secondly, someone may prolong our life for a while, but not forever. We can say a person who rescues another from a motor accident has prolonged the life of the latter. Again, a doctor who treats us of a serious illness could be said to have prolonged our life. But neither the rescuer of the accident victim nor the doctor can claim to have the power to give us everlasting life. Only Jesus can give us life beyond the grave!
(c) Many prophets, gurus, and founders of religions have spoken about new life, life after death, life with God, and the like, but none of them has ever claimed to be life itself. Only Jesus makes that claim and rightly so! Jesus Christ, being Life itself, did not only raised the dead (e.g. Lazarus), He came back to life, conquering death on the third day!
Beloved, Jesus is our Life, because He supplies the living Water (John 4); because He is Bread of Life (John 6); because He has come that we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10); because whoever believes in Him has eternal life (John 3)! Finally, therefore, I pray that in Jesus we will find good health, and above all eternal life. Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis