He Lives to Be the Only Way to Heaven – Week of May 8, 2023
[Jesus said], “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
John 14: 1-4
We take I-35 South from St. Paul, Minnesota. When we get to Dallas, we hop onto I-45 South and take it all the way to Houston. Then it’s just 1 exit and 4 turns to my childhood home. We have driven this 1,170-mile route so many times that we know exactly where we are going and how we will get there. We know every rest stop that has a playground, hotels with the best breakfasts, and how many miles to the next Bucc-ee’s. We count down the hours and exits until we can be with family again.
Before Jesus left the earth, he brought comfort to the disciples and encouraged them to continue to believe in him. Then he promised them three things: that he was going to prepare a place for them, that they would be together again, and that they already knew how to get there.
The disciples had been through a whirlwind of events! Their friend, Jesus, had shown them that he had power over the world with his miracles and he showed his power over death when he raised children and adults from the dead. Jesus spent days and months teaching the disciples about the sinfulness of their hearts and minds, and also about the mercy and forgiveness that God freely gives. They were just starting to put this all together—and now their friend is leaving them? But Jesus said “I am going there to prepare a place for you.” This place is heaven, where there is no sin, no sadness. And then it gets better! Jesus said “I will come back to take you to be with me”.” His words were very clear—the loss of their friend Jesus would only be temporary.
Hadn’t Jesus proved that he could be trusted and believed? Do you trust and believe these words? Sometimes we get stuck going around in circles in this world, trying to figure out how we can make it better. We think “if I just work harder, or read enough self-help books, or find the right support group, I can make things better”.” But the truth is, we can’t solve the problem of sin—not without Jesus.
And then Jesus said “You know the way”. Jesus had been showing them the way for the three years he lived with them. But, if there was any doubt, his very next words were “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus is the way! We can live our lives knowing where we are going and how to get there.
Thank you for giving us the comfort that we know where we are going and how to get there. Forgive me for sometimes looking to the world for answers instead of turning to you and your word. Help me to continue staying firm in your word, confident that you will bring me to the place that you have prepared for me. Amen.
A Question to Consider:
Think of a route that you know really well. How confident are you that you can get there without a GPS? Consider the “route” to heaven– Jesus. What words can you use to confidently tell someone else about the way to heaven?