Memorize John 14:6
Have you ever thought about the timing of this verse? Jesus speaks these words in the final hours of his life – this is the last speech he gives to his disciples. Jesus does not want these words to be forgotten.
Right before this verse, Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” And then He makes this piercing absolute truth claim. This is very much an apologetics statement by Jesus, but what’s so interesting is that Jesus emphasizes that there is comfort in the truth. Many people today believe absolute truth claims are offensive and exclusive – how can they be comforting?
To answer this question, we need to think about how God designed our world. Just like a traveler who must navigate a vast wilderness to arrive at a thriving city, we must traverse the perils of life to reach our eternal home. Along the way, we must make countless decisions about how we will live. It is foolish to journey in a wilderness without a map or compass – in the same way, we will wander in life without clear moral direction. Lacking tools to guide us, we will end up second guessing ourselves, doubling back, and living with regrets – and our life is going to be much harder because we’re going to fall down into all sorts of pits and dead ends.
In the first century, Christianity actually became known as “the Way” because of its exclusivity. But this wasn’t a new concept. Jesus is pulling on the rich history of “the way” in Jewish teaching. Proverbs says, “The way of the lazy man is like a hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is a highway.” God has given us a map and compass in the Bible and the Holy Spirit. And Jesus has already gone ahead of us and marked the way by His example of how to live. Sometimes the path may seem difficult and unintuitive, but our guide is good, and He is actually saving us from all manner of pits and dead ends that we don’t know about. So, let not your hearts be troubled, for even though you find yourself in a wilderness, remember that “Blessed are those whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. They go from strength to strength; each one will appear before God in Zion.”