I know it may come as a surprise to the ACLU, certain judges and politicians and even some pastors but no human authority has given us the freedom of religion to make that choice and no human authority can take it from us.
God – and God alone – has shown us The Way and given us the freedom to follow or not to follow. And God gave us that choice with the creation of the first human beings – in Eden by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Thanks be to God, the God-given choice is ours – but so are the consequences – as Adam and Eve and all of us descendants have learned. Second, accepting Jesus’ Word that He is The Way is a choice with consequences. When Jesus said, “I am The Way … No one comes to The Father except by Me”, He meant it. When God says “I am The Lord your God, you shall have no other gods”, He means it.
It may be healthy in some instances for dialogue between religious leaders in different traditions, but when I hear them say “We all follow the same god” they are traveling a path than can only lead to eternal alienation from The One True God and death. When Jesus said, “I am The Way”- make no mistake about it, He was pointing to Himself as The Only Way because no one comes to The Father except by Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ Word that He is The Way is a choice with consequences.
Third, Jesus’ Word that He is The Way is a choice with living proof to endorse that choice.
I have always had an interest in discovering where words and phrases come from – especially when I am not sure of their exact meaning. Take for example “the proof is in the pudding”. The original wording was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” which I thought to be a reference to some sort of taste test. Not quite. Today proof is primarily a noun defined as evidence that proves a point or establishes a truth. Back in the 4th Century proof was a verb meaning to test. And pudding, unlike today’s taste treat, was 'the stomach or one of the entrails of a pig, sheep, or other animal, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, suet, oatmeal, and seasoning and boiled' - like the pudding on the screen. Rather than being a mere taste test, the eating of that pudding – at a time when meal preparation involving such a mixture could be somewhat dangerous – the eating provided the best test of how healthy, unhealthy or even fatal that meal might be.
As “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, the proof that Jesus is The Only Way is in the fact that “while we were still sinners Christ died for us” and now resurrected is constant living with us with His Love overflowing. The proof is in the way we ourselves experience living in Christ. In describing the way in which Jesus remains ever-present in our lives, Jesus says “I AM THE WAY”. That says it all for time and for eternity.
This temporal world in which we live is a lot like the story E. Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in the jungle. With nothing around him but thick brush, he finally found a small village and asked one of the natives if he could lead him out of the jungle. The native said he could and the missionary said, "Show me the way." They walked for hours through dense brush hacking their way through unmarked jungle. The missionary began to worry and said, "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?" The native said. "Bwana, in this place there is no path. I am the path." Jesus is Our path – our only path - through this temporal world and on into our eternal home with Him – Jesus alone is THE WAY. It is absolute folly to follow the paths laid out by human beings when the only Path is Jesus The Christ.
I sometimes wonder if the prophets of the Politically Correct Cult inside and outside of the church even know where they are going – let alone how to get there – their actions and words mirroring the words of doubting Thomas - “Lord, we do not know where You are going. How can we know the way?” .
A dying man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, "Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side."
Very quietly, the doctor said, "I don't know."
"You don't know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?”
The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said, "Did you notice my dog? He's never been in this room before. He didn't know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his master was here, and when the door opened, he sprang in without fear. I know little of what is on the other side of death, but I do know one thing...I know my Master is there and that is enough."
Jesus says “I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. No one comes to The Father except through Me” – no one gets through these temporal years and on into eternity with God unless THE WAY we follow is Jesus. The proof of Jesus’ relationship with us is in the living – in our living with The One Who truly is THE WAY.
Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He is risen indeed. And how blessed are we to follow Him - THE WAY.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS – OUR RESURRECTION AND OUR LIFE – THE ONLY WAY. AMEN.
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF THE EASTER SEASON
April 22, 2018
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio