Jesus?" part 6
Jesus Is the Way
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
May 9, 2010
the past month, we’ve been working our way through our message series
entitled, “Who Is Jesus?” And as you might be able to tell by the
title, we’re exploring the identity of Jesus. We’re trying to learn
everything we can about the man, the mission, the message.
as I’ve said, makes this perhaps the most important series we’ve ever
done here. Because the message we have is the message of Jesus. The
hope we have is the hope that comes from Jesus. The reason the Church
exists is because of Jesus. We even call ourselves Christians or
Christ-followers… because we follow Jesus.
So we’re devoting
this series to answering that question, “Who Is Jesus?” Which, I’ve got
to say, is a pretty daunting task. I mean, that would be difficult to
do with anyone, but especially Jesus. Because if Jesus truly is who He
claimed to be and who we believe Him to be… if He really is God… then
there’s no way we could ever fully understand who He is. He’s far too
wonderful, powerful, awesome, compassionate, holy, and righteous for
that. He goes beyond our capacity to understand. We simply can’t
contain Him like that. All we can really hope to do is get a rough
idea… a character sketch… of who He is.
But we’re taking a stab
at it. And we’re making some progress. We started out on Easter Sunday,
looking at the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And what we
discovered is that there is evidence that points to the Resurrection
being a real event in history, and not just some religious idea that
evolved over the years. And if the Resurrection really happened, and I
believe it did… I believe the evidence points in that direction… then
it proves that Jesus is who He claimed to be… the Son of God.
so we built on that, and we explored how Jesus could be both a man who
lived in a specific time in history… who lived and breathed and walked
among us… and at the same time be God. And so we saw how His earliest
followers came to understand Him to be truly God and truly Man… how
Jesus Himself made that claim… and how His humanity and Divinity were
expressed through His life.
We moved on from that to look at
some of the things Jesus said about Himself. We saw how He described
Himself as The Good Shepherd… meaning we can trust Him, we can know Him
on a intimate level, how He cares for us, leads us, and protects us…
also seen how Jesus claimed that He came not to be served but to serve
others. He came as a servant, and in so doing He completely redefined
greatness. He was the Servant King. And because He Himself was a
servant He expects us to adopt that same servant-attitude. So that’s
what we talked about last week.
And that brings us to today.
Today, we’re going to look at something else that Jesus said about
Himself. In John 10:4, Jesus said…
John 14:6 (NLT)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father
except through me.”
[VIDEO – “One Way” from SermonVideos.com]
God, many ways to get to Him.” Interesting. Sounds pretty open-minded.
Sounds politically correct. But how does that compare to what Jesus
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father
except through me.”
the next week or two, we’re going to be discussing what sets Jesus
apart from other faiths and other religious leaders. And if you’ve ever
wondered about that sort of thing, then I’d encourage you to be here.
for today… today we’re not looking at those other beliefs and those
other people. Today we’re looking specifically at what Jesus said about
Jesus claimed to be the one and only way to God the
Father. Either He was lying and should be dismissed out of hand, or He
was telling the truth and no other way will do. No religion, no good
deeds, no merit badges… nothing.
You know, I like to think of
myself as being a pretty good person. Maybe you think of yourself that
way, too. But I think I’m pretty good. I help people when I can, I give
to charitable causes, I’m loyal to my friends, I try to always tell the
truth and live with integrity and honour… I pay my taxes, treat people
with dignity, and I’m faithful to my family. I may not be the best
person in the world, but I think I’m doing okay.
But you know
what? None of that matters as far as finding my way to God the Father.
Because nothing I could ever do could earn me salvation. Why? Because
no matter how good I am, I could never measure up to God’s perfect
standard of holiness. The Bible puts it this way… Read it with me…
Isaiah 64:6 (NLT)
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous
deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.
at my best, I fall far short of God’s standard of perfection. And
that’s why it’s so important for me to realize that no other way will
Jesus claimed to be the only Way, and I believe Him. Hey,
in this series we’ve already made the case for His divinity, we’ve
examined His credentials, and we’ve seen that He really is the Son of
God. And if all of that is true, then I’ve got to believe that He was
serious when He claimed to be the way, the truth and the life. Jesus
basically said the same thing when He said…
Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)
can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to
hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.
But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and
only a few ever find it.”
So Jesus is the only way to God the
Father. He’s the only way to life. So if I want to find God… if I want
to know God and live with the promise of spending eternity with Him in
Jesus is the Way, then I need to…
Choose the right path
Because as Yogi Berra said…
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace
~ Yogi Berra
Good ol’ Yogi. Smarter than the average Berra.
many of you have a GPS device? A couple years ago, when Nate was just
six months old, Shera and I packed him up in our Neon and drove all the
way to Kansas to visit her grandparents. And let me tell you, that was
a crazy trip. Word of advice—never go on a 2000 km road trip with a six
month old. It’s just a bad idea.
Well, before we left we
borrowed a GPS from Harvey and Sandra and it took us right to the
doorstep. In fact, I was so impressed with it that we bought our own
when we got home.
But there were a few times I missed an exit I
should have taken or taken one I shouldn’t have. And do you know when
that happened? When the GPS told me which way to go and I thought,
“Nah, that doesn’t look right.” And honestly, we were probably halfway
home before I finally realized that I needed to trust the GPS.
understand, was a difficult decision to make. Because remember, I’m a
guy. I don’t ask directions. But after getting lost multiple times
because I followed my own sense of direction, I finally realized that I
was being shown the right way and I needed to follow it. Read this
verse from the Old Testament book of Proverbs with me…
Proverbs 14:12 (NLT)
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in
are so many ways we can choose in life… so many things we can put our
trust in and place our faith in… so many things that may seem like a
good idea at the time, but in the end they’ll all disappoint. All but
one… Jesus. Knowing Jesus is the right path.
Acts 4:12 (NLT)
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under
heaven by which we must be saved.”
You must choose the right path… Jesus Christ. You need to choose to
place your faith, your hope, your trust in Him.
know what happened with those first disciples of Jesus? The earliest
Christ-followers? Jesus called to them and said, “Follow Me.” And you
know what they did? They left whatever they were doing and followed
Him. And it works the same way today. Jesus has told you that He is the
One and Only Way. And He has asked to you follow Him… to place your
hope and trust in Him. What are you going to do about it?
you know what? Maybe you’ve been thinking about this for a while. Or
maybe this is the first time you’ve really thought about it, but it’s
ringing true for you this morning. So how about deciding this morning
that Jesus really is right path… that you believe His claim and that
you’re going to trust Him?
In fact, let me lead us in a prayer
right now. And if you’re ready to trust Jesus as being the Way to God
the Father, then even right now you can pray… and you don’t even have
to do this out loud, because remember as God He even knows your
thoughts… you can pray something like this…
“Jesus, I do choose
You. I may not even fully understand what that means, but I choose You.
Today, I am placing my trust and my hope in You and You alone. Help me
to follow You. Amen.”
If you’re making that choice this morning,
then I’d encourage you to let someone know about it. You can tell me,
you can tell the person you came with, but tell someone that you’re
choosing Jesus today.
But maybe you’ve never thought about this
before. Maybe this is all new for you and you’re not prepared to make
that kind of a choice this morning. Could I encourage you to keep
investigating? Start reading the Bible… if you don’t have a copy you
can understand, talk to me and I’ll get you one. Start asking
questions. Check Jesus out for yourself. Because of Jesus really is the
way, the truth and life, and there really is no other way, then
deciding what you’re going to do with Jesus is the most important
decision you’ll ever make.
So choose your path. Is Jesus telling
the truth? Is He really the one and only way to God the Father? Choose
your path. If you believe He is and choose to trust Him, then the next
thing you need to do is…
Travel on the path
let me tell you, far too many people decide that they’re going to
believe Jesus, but then it makes no difference in their lives.
seek out the narrow road but never choose to walk on it. They decide
it’s too narrow, requires too much sacrifice and that it would be too
uncomfortable walking upon the rocky surface.”
~ Bruce Hamsher
The Narrow Road,
many times do we do that? How many times do we decide we’re going to do
something but never do it because it just looks too hard or it’s too
Listen, Jesus isn’t looking for people who agree
with Him. He’s not looking for you to give Him your nod of approval.
And He’s not looking for you to just respect Him. He’s looking for
commitment. He’s looking for disciples. Jesus wants followers, not
John 8:12 (NLT)
“If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will
have the light that leads to life.”
you’ve got to be following. You’ve got to be progressing. You’ve got to
be moving down that path. You’ve got to seek to know Him better
everyday. You’ve got to strive to live in a way that honours Him.
You’ve got to be reading His Word, you’ve got to be talking with Him
daily through prayer. Worship Him, make it a point to get together with
His Church every week, practice spiritual habits and disciplines…
practices that will help you grow.
Because following Jesus is
not a one-time decision; it’s a progressive journey. And it’s an
exciting journey. And sometimes it gets difficult… but you’ve got to
make the choice: will you follow Him? Not just believe in Him, but
We need to listen to Jesus when He calls us. But
more than that, we need to respond. We need to follow Him down that
narrow path today and not delay.
Stay on the path
got an email this week from an aunt of mine… one that I haven’t had
much if any contact with in close to a decade. She’s actually the widow
of Aubrey Hanson, if any of you have followed Country Music in the
Maritimes over the past 60 years or so.
Anyway, in her email,
she reminisced a little bit, and she asked me a question… she asked if
I remembered the days when I was just a kid, and she and my mother
would drag my brother, sister and I to K-Mart. And you know what? I do
remember those days. In fact, there are two things I remember about
those days. I remember blowing bubbles in my milk in the K-Mart
cafeteria. (Which incidentally is something Nate has recently
discovered how to do.) And the second thing I remember is getting lost
in the aisles. Which as I recall, happened more than once.
maybe I wasn’t so bright. How could I get lost in K-Mart? Well, I would
get lost because I would be distracted by other things. We’d be walking
down an aisle, we’d all be together, but then everyone else would turn
left, and I’d see something off to the right that I wanted to check
out… probably an Evel Knievel toy or a game of Hungry Hippos or a Six
Million Dollar Man action figure… whatever was popular back in the 70s.
So I’d wander off and check them out, and by the time I was done I
couldn’t find my family.
I don’t think I understood back then
how easy it is to wander away from where I ought to be. I don’t think I
knew how easily I could be distracted and led away. But what I’ve
learned since then is that it’s not just while shopping at K-Mart that
I can get distracted and wander away… it’s in life. We’re told in the
Old Testament book of Proverbs…
Proverbs 4:26-27 (MSG)
Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look
neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
know, some people start on the right path… they decide that they’re
going to follow Jesus… but then they stray when the road gets rough.
Listen, just because you decide to follow Jesus doesn’t mean
everything’s going to be easy. In fact, the Jesus warns us that if we
follow Him we may be insulted, persecuted, and lied about all because
of our relationship with Him. There’s no greater joy than living for
Jesus, but it can also be challenging… it can be difficult… it can be
heart-wrenching. You can become discouraged, you can become apathetic,
you can become distracted by other things… and it’s easier than you
might think to wander away from where you know you should be with Him.
If you do wander away, then get back on track as soon as possible. But
even better, don’t wander away in the first place.
many singers get their start singing in church and following Jesus, but
become enticed by all the trappings of fame? How many businessmen
betray their faith because it gets in their way as they try to climb
the ladder of success? How many young adults cash in their purity in
order to gain a few minutes of pleasure? How many athletes compromise
their values because they might prevent them from achieving their
But the temptation to stray from the narrow path is not
exclusive to the famous, the career-minded, or the super-ambitious. We
all face obstacles and opportunities, challenges and compromises which
can lead us astray. So choose now that when those temptations and
distractions come your way you’re going to stay on the narrow road.
Because there’s nothing that could take you away that’s worth it.
Sometimes it’s good to look back down,
We’ve come so far - we’ve gained such ground.
But joy is not in where we’ve been,
Joy is who’s waiting at the end.
~ Mike Hudson