One of the best things about going away, I’ve always found, is coming home. When our children were little, they would rush down the stairs shouting “Daddy’s home.” It always thrilled me to hear those words. And it’s always lovely to be in when they get back from school now, to welcome them home.
On the evening of his arrest, Jesus had told his distressed disciples that he was going away. But his Father’s house, he said, had many rooms and there was space for them. Thomas, outspoken and confused, replied that they didn’t know where Jesus was going, so how could they know the way there? (John 14:1-5)
It’s a good point. If you’re going on a journey, it’s hard to make a decision about your route unless you know where you’re going. The destination is all important.
Jesus declared “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6-7). Jesus doesn’t say that he is the way to heaven, but to the Father. In other words, the destination that Jesus points to is not so much a place (though it is) but to a person – the Father – and a relationship.
Jesus makes an exclusive claim here that he is the only way to God, because he is the only one through whom we can know God as Father. As the Son of God he alone perfectly reveals God. Only my children can call me Dad. And only those who come to God through Jesus can call him Father.
Just this shift in perspective can change everything. The God Jesus reveals isn’t a vague unknowable entity at the end of a mountain climb, but a loving Father. Jesus is the way not just to a place, but a person.
Question for reflection: How does believing that Jesus is the way to the Father affect how we should live each day?