During Lent I am going to be musing about some of the “I am” phrases of Jesus starting today with “I am the way, the truth and the life. It is part of a speech Jesus makes in John’s gospel (ch 14)
To put it in context, it is the eve of Passover. Everyone is in Jerusalem. There is joy and expectation in the air. Or, at least, there should be. Jesus and the disciples are sharing a meal. The meal is unlike one they have shared before. Jesus began the meal by getting on his knees and washing their feet, each in turn, no-one left out. He seems different this night, somehow. His eyes seem sad and his soul troubled. He speaks of betrayal and denial, by those ones thought closest to him. Maybe sensing the disquiet of those gathered around him he says, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.’ Were things going to go back to normal, the mood brighten? But then he speaks of leaving them, of going to the Father’s house to prepare rooms for them. What does he mean?
In words that they couldn’t understand, Jesus speaks to them of his upcoming death, and the blessing that this would bring. Then, in the midst of it all, he invites them and all disciples who have come after, to go on the journey to the Father and discover that with the Father, we will discover our ultimate home.
Jesus did not come to show us the way. Instead, we must realise that he is the Way. We must walk his path. We must search for God through him. We must lay down all competing demands that lead us on another road, and travel his way only.
Jesus did not come to teach us the truth. Instead, we must discover that he is Truth. That which he stands for, we must stand for. Those whom he loves, we must love. That which he was passionate about, we must be passionate about.
Jesus did not come to talk to us about life. Instead, we are offered the chance to experience that he is Life. We may have to leave behind treasured elements of our former selves, we may have to be amongst those we would not choose to be amongst, we may have to do that which we would rather not do, but in choosing this path, and walking this way we can discover the life that only God can offer.
Lent provides opportunity to reassess our lives and priorities, to refocus the direction on which we travel. But most importantly it is an opportunity to more fervently seek God. Jesus told his disciples, then and now, that those who have seen him, have seen the Father. So may we use the time that this season affords to seek Jesus, so that we may discover the Father also. Maybe commit to reading through one of the Gospels through Lent, not purely as an academic exercise, but to discover Jesus. Maybe commit to spending time each day reflecting on a particular story or saying of Jesus, so that his life may dwell in you more fully. Whatever you choose to do this Lent, focus on seeking Jesus – the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Rev Nik Wooller
28th Feb 2021