Chapter fourteen of the Gospel of John begins with a discussion between Jesus and Thomas, the one we know as “doubting Thomas.” Jesus mentioned that he was going away, and he says that the disciples know the way to where he is going. However, Thomas says they don’t know Jesus’ destination and thus can’t know the way to it.
Jesus’ responds with a memorable statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Implied of course is that Jesus is going to return to his heavenly Father. Questions about Jesus being the truth and the life aside, I believe Thomas’ question provides a good jumping off point reflecting the directionless nature of many.
What We Aim At
Former New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, known for his unusual quotes, once said, “If you aim an nothing, you’ll hit it.” Although many have a sense of direction that aims at limited and time-bound goals, they aren’t going to hit anything beyond those because they aren’t aiming any higher. Because they aim at legitimate short-term goals, they miss the most important goal: what happens to them after they die.
How many people that you know actually consider what comes after this life? Perhaps people have to reach a certain age to consider the brevity of life. Phil Robertson, of “Duck Commander” fame, broaches the subject with characteristic bluntness. He asks, “What are you going to do about the six-foot hole waiting for you?” Most people only consider their most immediate future: graduation from high school, where they are going to college, what job will they get, who will they marry, where they will live.
The challenge of knowing the way is still with us. More importantly, the challenge of our ultimate destination still looms. All the science in the world has yet to hurdle the question of our mortality. Comedian Jim Gaffigan quips that scientists can’t even explain what the appendix does. It does make me wonder how much else they really don’t know. Any thought about science finding the key to immortality sounds more like science fiction and ranks among the tall tales of history.
So what is your destination? Is there something more than the six-foot hole? Atheists insist that only nothingness awaits. Most of us can’t live with that kind of nihilism. Enter Jesus onto the stage of history; he claims to be the Way. He also claims that to follow him is the way to eternal life where the Heavenly Father awaits all who follow His Son.
Can you envision a destiny beyond this life? Do you consider nothingness? Do you simply assume you will be in a better place? Have you considered the possibility that you might be wrong? Jesus suffered human death but came back from the grave to show us that life continues after death, but he is the only way to get there. Anyone smart enough to set goals for their life will consider the importance of their final destination. Got yours figured out yet?
See a Conversation on John 14 here.
© 2023, Robert Weber, Words Done Right LLC and The Lazarus Chronicles