Jesus is the Way!
In the past year, binge watching TV has become a regular habit for most people (including myself). One show I loved watching was “The Mandalorian”, which is part of the Star Wars universe. If you haven’t watched the show, it’s basically an ole western version of Star Wars. The Mandalorian is a lone ranger with one mission--take Baby Yoda back to his kind.
Throughout the series, the Mandalorian repeats the phrase, “This is the way.” to fellow Mandalorians and others as an affirmation. It basically represents everything that the Mandalorian community stands for. Their code, their rules, their way of living. One of the biggest rules he holds himself accountable to is not taking off his helmet in front of any living thing.
As I watched the second season of "The Mandalorian" in December, his mission statement (“This is the way.”) reminded me of what Jesus says in John 14:6.
“And Jesus said to him [Thomas], “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.””
With everything that’s happening in our world today, and the continuous challenges we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic, having a strong foundation in hope is crucial. This verse gives us so much guidance in a world full of chaos and uncertainty.
One of God’s promises throughout the Bible is that he is making a way for his people. He parted the Red Sea for Israel to escape from Egypt (Exodus 14). He was with Joshua as Israel travelled into the Promise Land (Joshua 1). He was with Esther as she saved her people (Esther 2-8). He promises through Isaiah that he will make a way for them (Isaiah 43:19). Daniel, David, Joseph, Ruth, Paul--the list could go on! God continues time and time again to lead his people through impossible circumstances.
Before Jesus came to earth, there was an extremely long period of silence. Prophets in the Old Testament spoke about the coming of a King, a Messiah. The Jews expected this to happen when they heard these things, but then years went by. It seemed like God was staying silent.
God’s plans and prophecies about Jesus came to fulfillment at the least expected time, in the least expected way. Just because God isn’t working in a way we expect him to, doesn’t mean that he isn’t there.
2020 was difficult and, at times, extremely frustrating. It is tempting to turn to other things for comfort and peace, especially if they are immediate. I would say that my immediate go to when I didn’t want to think about online school or things going on in the world was distractions. Whether it be binge watching or playing that Harry Potter candy crush game, we are easily distracted and far too easily satisfied with these distractions.
It is easy to go down the path of distraction for relief & comfort. But, no matter how many distractions you engage in, they will always be short-term. They are not permanent, they will not give you the satisfaction you are looking for. You will not find fulfillment through your distractions.
Jesus is THE way, not just a way.
Jesus came to earth as our Savior and our guide to salvation. Without Jesus there would be no way to redemption. Our world promises satisfaction and an ideal life through great education, a good job, fantastic benefits--whatever it may be. Those in themselves aren’t bad things, but they can become dangerous when we prioritize them above our Creator.
Something moving about John 14, is that these chapters lead up to Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion. When Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” he was getting ready to make his way to the cross.
As the Enduring Word Commentary points out, these verses are a paradox. “Jesus’ way would be the cross; He would be convicted by blatant liars; His body would soon be in a lifeless tomb.”
If we were sent to the cross, we could not endure it. We would not have come back to life, we would have stayed in that tomb. We have constantly fallen short of the sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God for our sin. As hard as we have tried, we have never been able to justify ourselves as worthy to earn a spot in eternity with God.
However, Jesus did endure that cross. He lived life and experienced death in our place. As much as I try to fully understand this concept, every time I think about it, my mind is blown. We tried to make a way for ourselves, and we continue trying to make a way for ourselves. But it’s impossible without Jesus! No matter how hard you try, you will sin, you will fall short.
Jesus is the Way.
He is our way to eternal life with God! His words are our guide to how we should live our lives. Our distractions won’t lead us to a path of eternal grace and love. Jesus will. He is the grace and love you are seeking.
Jesus is the Life.
Jesus died, but death could not hold him! He is so full of life, he defeated death! When we are feeling empty, discouraged, heartbroken, Jesus brings life back into our souls and leads us to his promises.
Jesus is the Truth.
There is no other truth besides God. No other person or website or administration will bring you the absolute truth. I cannot give you the extent as to how beautiful and complex God’s truth is. Everything he says is Truth. Period.
Jesus’ way is not comfortable or the “easy way” out of our struggles.
Jesus’ way was the cross. In following him, you will run into a lot of uncomfortable things, like denying yourself, humbling your heart, serving others, and prioritizing God above all. Some things the world offers may give you a quick fix to your problems, but the way of this world will not last.
Jesus’ way is not easy, but it is worth it. Jesus knew that the cross would be grueling and hard; but he was motivated by his powerful love for you & me. Jesus died to connect the path from you to the Father.
We may not be sure what 2021 will bring, but we know that Jesus knows the way!
As we settle into 2021, I encourage you to dwell on God’s promises. He promises to lead you, even when he seems far away. He promises peace when the way gets rocky, and hope when we feel discouraged. Jesus is the way!
What has been distracting you from Jesus?
Which of God’s promises has been an encouragement to you lately?
Does following Jesus’ way change your perspective on this past year and coming year? If it does, how so?
Thank you so much for reading! I hope this post has brought you encouragement & hope! I would love to hear from you in the comments, or send me a message via email!
Until next time!
P.S. I am in no way affiliated with Disney or The Star Wars Franchise. I just enjoy their entertainment & like sketching the chracters!