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Turn to John 14. I’ll reference it several times today.  In John 14, Jesus talked to His disciples about His upcoming departure from this world.  He explained that He would be returning to the Father and would be preparing a place for them to come and be with Him, and in verse 4, He said, “You know the way to the place where I am going.” And Thomas said, “Um, we don’t even know where you are going so how could we possibly know the way? And Jesus made this stunning declaration in verse 6:  “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Jesus was basically saying, you don’t have to know a path or a place. You just have to know a Person, and that Person is Me!

The Way is a Person.  The Way is Jesus.  Early on, after the Resurrection, the early Christians were called “The Way.” They were following Jesus by sharing His messages and witnessing to the Resurrection.  They were teaching the Scriptures out of their relationship with Jesus.  Even though He had ascended to the Father and had gone to Heaven, He was still communicating with His followers through the Holy Spirit.  So, even though Jesus left earth and returned to Heaven, He never discontinued being the Way.  He is still the Way today. 

  1. Jesus is the Way to interpret the Scriptures.

When Jesus stood in the Temple and read from the scroll of Isaiah which contained the job description for the Messiah, and He concluded by saying, “The Person who was described in this job description is Me.  I am the Messiah.”  Even though the Old Testament is filled with lots of great history and the various ways God intervened in His people’s lives time and time again, ultimately, the entire Old Testament points to the coming Messiah, points to Jesus.  Jesus is the fulfillment of every Messianic promise, and you and I can now read the Old Testament in light of His coming.

In essence, Jesus is the centerpiece of the message of the Bible.  Everything points to Jesus, is fulfilled in Jesus and points us back to Jesus as the One to follow for a successful earthly and spiritual life.  While the Old Testament has scores of prophecies about Jesus’ coming, it’s not as if Jesus suddenly came into existence at the Incarnation when He wrapped Himself in flesh and was born in Bethlehem, but Jesus has always been engaged and present in the affairs of human History. 

To read Scripture in light of the total ministry of Jesus is to see how God was liberating and giving life to His people throughout the ages even before Christ came to earth.When we see Adam and Eve, in the book of Genesis, being clothed by God in a substitutionary way as an animal was sacrificed in their place, we see what was being planned through Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross.  Isaiah 61:10 talks about how we have been clothed with righteousness.  That isn’t our own righteousness, is it?  It’s the righteousness of Jesus!  Paul came right out and said it in Galatians 3:27. We have been clothed in Christ.

Who do you think it was the put Himself into the fiery furnace with the three Hebrew boys in Daniel chapter three?  It was Jesus. One theologian put it this way: “What straddles the Old and the New is not simply a plan or a promise; it’s a Person.  Jesus unites the Bible.  He is not absent from the Old Testament, sitting on the bench, awaiting his fourth quarter winning play. He is the player-coach-manager directing all things. Throughout the Old Testament, he is the one and only Mediator of God Most High, marching purposefully toward his own incarnation. Jesus is Lord. He always has been.”  (Glen Scrivener)

When the Resurrected Jesus entered into a conversation with two depressed and dejected followers, not two of the 12 disciples, but 2 other followers, He took them not to the happenings of the cross, but to Scripture to help them understand Who He was and what He was all about.  Here is the text:  “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. Luke 24:25-27  He helped them make sense of the Scriptures by presenting Himself to them.  He helped them tie all of the pieces together.  Everything comes together in Jesus. 

If you want to understand Scripture when you read it, get Christ-centered.  Look at the prophesies of Jesus and then look at Jesus. Look at Old Testament manifestations of God. I say without reservation that Jesus was involved. Read the Gospels, and review the life of Jesus.  Read what the New Testament writers said about Jesus in their letters.  Look at how knowing Him transformed their lives, changed history and grew the church. Look at how strategically Jesus lived His life and connect that with other parts of Scripture on holiness, mission and how to treat other people. The more you learn and know about Jesus, the easier it will be to understand Scripture and to put its concepts and principles together.  Jesus is the glue that holds all 66 books together.

And if you aren’t sure where to start, start in the Gospels with the red letters.  Those are the actual words of Jesus, and in my opinion the Red Letters should be the most read letters.

  1. Jesus is the Way to the Father in Heaven.

In John 14:2 when Jesus told His disciples He was going to His Father’s house and would prepare a place for them, He followed it up by saying the He was the way to the Father’s house.  What exactly did He mean?

Read further in the chapter with me:Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

Jesus came to show us what God the Father was like. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Though they are two separate Persons within the Trinity, within the Godhead, God the Father and Jesus the Son share a oneness that helps us understand that to see Jesus is to see God.  Jesus was God, and He represented God the Father while on earth.  There is a separation between the two while all the while being no distinction between them.

I say all of that to say, if you want to know what God is like, get to know Jesus.  Though they are separate, they are the same.  And Jesus said He is the Way to the Father’s house which means He is the Way to Heaven.  The Father is in Heaven.  Scripture reinforces that reality in several places. Jesus knows the way out of death into eternity in Heaven, and Jesus has made it possible for us to follow Him because He paid the price for our sin, something that would keep us from making the trip.  So, in reality, Jesus becomes both our path and our passport when we put our trust in His death, burial and resurrection and seek to follow Him. 

Let me show you another passage that reinforces this reality.  I John 5 5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 

Verse 4: for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? ONLY the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Verse 11b: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Those who have Jesus have eternal life.  Those who don’t, don’t have eternal life in Heaven.  These verses make it clear that Jesus doesn’t simply know the way and can help us discover it or that He is A way, meaning one of many ways, but He is the ONLY Way out of this life into eternal life in Heaven.  Period.  Full stop.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.00.  End of story.  Discussion over. 

People may want to debate all kinds of Scripture passages in order to wrestle something that seems theologically fuzzy or something that is incomprehensible to the human mind, but something I will never discuss in debate is that Jesus is the only Way to God the Father and eternity in Heaven.  There is no gray area here, friends.

The reason you need to study the entirety of Scripture is because it reaffirms from beginning to the ending that not only is Jesus the Subject, but the plan to redeem the world, the only plan for redemption, is found in Christ alone.  If there were many ways, there would be many prophesies about many plans.  If there were many ways, salvation would be talked about using a myriad of suggestions.  If there were many ways, the writers of Scripture would have listed them, but they didn’t because there aren’t many ways.  There is only One.  His name is Jesus. 

Acts 4:11-12 says, “11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’[a]12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is NO OTHER name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Call it particular.  Call it strict.  Jesus called it “narrow.”  Call it whatever you want to, but you can’t dismiss that God has designed one Way for us to be reconciled to God and to enjoy eternity in Heaven.  It is through Jesus.  That makes Him the Way out of a life of sin and the Way out of death.  We escape both only in and through Him. 

Our sin can no longer condemn us because Christ has covered our sin with His shed blood on the Cross and death can no longer destroy us because Jesus has destroyed Death! No one but Jesus has taken care of our every enemy.  That is what makes Him the only Way!

Jesus is the Way to answered prayer.

John 14:13-14 says this, “13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

There is weight that the name of Jesus has with the Father.  There is authority and miraculous power in the name of Jesus.  Jesus’ name is connected with the glory of God.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  Whenever God can be glorified by your request, as you ask in Jesus’ name, you can be sure you will receive it.

While this may sound like permission to ask for anything or like you are handing a blank check to Jesus and asking Him to simply sign it so that you can cash it, verses 13 and 14 cannot be divorced from verse 15 which says, “If you love me, keep my commands.”  Jesus basically said, “Ask anything, but as you are asking, make sure it glorifies God and make sure you are walking with Me by keeping my commands.” 

This means you have to actually know Jesus in order to see your prayer life work.  You have to be His disciple. When we pray in Jesus’ name and we really do know Jesus, it is as if Jesus turns to the Father and says, “This one is with Me.”  That is a game-changer in the throne room of Heaven, friends.

Our prayer life is like a lifeline. We receive what we need, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, through prayer as we trust in Christ, as we live in Him, as we live like Him in a desire to bring glory and honor to God.  If following Jesus and revealing God’s glory is your highest priority, nothing will stop your prayers from being answered when you are praying from a relationship with Jesus and in His authority, which means in and through His name.   

Jesus is the Way to bear fruit.

If you want to live your best personal life and for your life to have meaning, to have an impact, to produce a harvest for the Kingdom of God, Jesus is the Way for that to happen.

Look at John 15:1-5 where Jesus said about Himself, 15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Jesus emphasized remaining in Him in these verses.  He is the Vine.  We are the branches.  From Him, we gain the nourishment we need in order to produce much fruit. 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

What kind of fruit could Jesus be referencing here?  I think it is fair to say that Jesus is interested in fruit in your life and fruit through your life.  If you want to become a different person, Jesus is the Way to that transformation.  If you want to have correct thoughts, Jesus is the Way to reprogram your mind.  If you want to have the attitudes of Christ toward people and circumstances, Jesus is the Way. If you want to have love in your heart for all people, if you want to let go of hurt, bitterness, grudges, anger and unforgiveness, Jesus is the Way to have your heart cultivated to hold and dispense only the love, kindness and generosity of God.  When we meet Jesus and let Him take the lead in our lives, there is a reshaping that takes place.  That is simply the byproduct of a relationship with Jesus.  It’s relational fruit. 

There is a personal benefit that comes to us from being connected to Jesus in relationship.  We become not just the best versions of ourselves, but we are recreated to become who God intended all along.  We get to discover our gifts and talents and gain a sense of identity and purpose that comes from our connection with Jesus, the Vine.  We will never discover who we were meant to become apart from Jesus.  Never.

In addition, I would argue that we are also supposed to bear the fruit of reproduction.  Other people are supposed to become grafted to the Vine because of us.  Other people are supposed to enter a relationship with Jesus because of our witness.  Jesus finished this thought in John 15 by saying, 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” 

There is an empowering that will come from our relationship with Christ that will enable us to be His witnesses which produces fruit for the Kingdom as more and more people are saved.  The strength and stability of the Vine becomes extended to us as branches. The wisdom of God becomes ours as we share Who God is with the world.

Not only is there relational fruit and reproductive fruit for your life as you connect with Jesus as the Vine, but Jesus also simply becomes the Way of life for believers.  Vine life becomes our life.  We take our cues from the Vine.  We are held up and supported by the Vine.  We become an extension of what the Vine seeks to accomplish.  And the Vine’s life and victory become the branch’s life and victory.

So, if Jesus is the Way to understand Scripture, if He is the Way to know God, if He is the Way to Heaven which means He is the Way to escape sin and death, and if He is the Way to have your prayers answered and to live a fruitful personal and spiritual life, and if His life and victory can become your life, what are you waiting for?  Jesus is the only Way, the Best Way.  Are you connected to Him?

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