Pastor Chuck DeVane
Special to The Sentinel-Record
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
-- John 14:1-6, ESV
Jesus was unlike any other person who ever lived. He had the capacity to be both God and man.
As such, the man Christ Jesus spoke in His capacity as God's unique Son to comfort His dear children, lead them in the way they should go, and make the most audacious claim in human history.
Jesus has the capacity for comfort. Jesus tells His disciples to face trouble with faith in a certain person. "Believe in God; believe also in me." The most comforting doctrine in all of Holy Scripture is the sovereignty of God. He ordains all of our triumphs and troubles and is with us through them all, because all of them serve a purpose in His perfect plan.
Jesus tells His disciples to face trouble with faith in a certain place. Even death is not daunting to a true disciple, for it only opens the door to "my Father's house," according to Jesus. The KJV translation of "mansions" is misleading and has spawned many a Southern gospel song, but our heavenly abode (a better translation) is infinitely better than any large house on earth.
Jesus tells His disciples to face trouble with faith in a certain promise. The terrible scars endured by Christ at His first coming can only be salved by the promise of His second coming. "I will come again," Jesus said, "and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." This promise is fulfilled daily when a disciple dies, and it will be fulfilled grandly at the second coming of Christ.
Jesus has the capacity for leadership. Great leaders lead the way to victory over our foes. Great leaders are transparent and truthful in all matters. Great leaders make life better, longer, worth living.
Jesus is the Lord and the leader who shows us the way to Heaven. "I Am the way." Jesus' way was to fulfill every Old Testament prophecy, live a perfect, sinless, life, leave that upper room, walk uphill to Gethsemane, walk down to the cross and lay down His life for God's people, then walk out of the empty tomb. Jesus is the way of salvation.
Jesus is the Lord and the leader who tells us the truth about how to get to Heaven. "I Am ... the truth." Jesus referred to Holy Scripture as God's word, and it is God's truth about sin and death, salvation and life, heaven and hell. Jesus is the truth of salvation.
Jesus is the Lord and the leader who promises us life, eternal life, in Heaven. "I Am ... the life." Jesus makes life worth living on earth, abundant life, in spite of the many troubles we face. Jesus will make the troubles no more when He calls us home, to the place He has prepared, for those who by grace through faith have trusted in this, in Him, who is the life in salvation.
Jesus has the capacity for audacity. Notice that Jesus did say He is "a" way, "a" truth, or "a" life. In every case, He used the definite article "the," meaning the one and only. And Jesus did not follow up by saying "some" can still get to Heaven without Him, but that "No one" gets into the Father's house except through Him.
Jesus had the audacity to close every door to heaven except His own. He is the way, and no one can come any other way. You must be chosen (ref. Ephesians 1:4), drawn (ref. John 6:44, 6:65), regenerated (ref. Titus 3:5), cleansed (ref. 1 Peter 1:19), and sealed (ref. Ephesians 4:30) by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The only evidence of this grace is true repentance of sin and abiding faith in God through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Robert Frost wrote, "Home is the place, when you arrive, they have to take you in." If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, then Heaven is your home. You will be taken in when your time is come. So be comforted, follow the leadership of the Lord, and live with the audacity of the exclusive gospel of Jesus Christ.
Chuck DeVane is the pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs. Reach him at 501-525-8339 or [email protected]