Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January 6, 2015 - along the Way ...

As we begin a new year, I thought it would be good to take some time to explain the title of this blog, and its significance to each post.

In the Bible, Jesus says, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."   Jesus is the Way!

Now "the Way" can have multiple meanings.  

First, Jesus is the way to heaven, only by God's grace received through true faith can a person enter into heaven and live with God eternally.

In Hebrews 10:19-20, the Bible states, "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body ..."  Jesus is the Way to heaven because He has reconciled us to God for eternity through the sacrifice of His body and blood.

Second, Jesus is the way to live.  Jesus modeled righteousness for us.  In Him, we see what it means to live in obedience to God, and as we become more like Jesus we find that our lives become more pleasing to God.

In Matthew 5:20, Jesus says, "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."  Jesus was pointing out the need for an alien righteousness; a righteousness only He could provide for those who believe in Him, but He was also calling us to a better way of living; a righteousness that exhibits the character of God.

Third, Jesus is the leader for all who follow.  Similar to the previous meaning, Jesus is the way for all His followers, who seek to live rightly together.   So He is not simply a way for individuals to live righteously, but He is the way for all His followers, together, as the body of Christ, to pursue His kingdom and His righteousness in the world.

In Acts 9:2, the Bible shows Saul (later called Paul) asking for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, "so that if found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem."  Prior to the title "Christians" (see Acts 11:26), Jesus' followers were referred to as those "who belonged to the Way".   Jesus is the Way, and all those who belong to Him are followers of the Way.

This third meaning is where I find the inspiration for my weekly blog posts.   We are the body of Christ, together we belong to the Way, and as we journey in this world we do so with purpose.   We are not simply on a journey with no destination, meandering, as it were, along the way.  Rather, we travel with purpose, knowing that we belong to Jesus, and His kingdom is our final destination.   One day Jesus will bring His kingdom to earth in fullness, and until that day we fix our eyes on Jesus, and share His love and our hope with those around us, wherever we are, as God gives us opportunity.  

So together we are on a journey, a journey with a destination, but a journey nonetheless.  As we journey, we do so together, along the Way ...

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