Directions – who here is any good at giving directions?
Now I’m not looking at the women, because if my wifes map reading skills are anything to go by???
I’m sure everyone here at some point has been on a car journey where you end up completely lost. There comes a point when you have to admit defeat and ask for directions. Winding the window down as the next suitable person walks past, excuse me, do you know where such a place is? How many of us have done that before?
And as the person begins to explain the way to your destination, there is usually an array of hand signals or directions that accompany the words isn’t there. Now if your anything like me, you just about manage to take in the first two or three directions and the rest kind of becomes a blur!! However, pride gets the better of you and not wanting to appear stupid you head off in the direction they sent you, still completely lost and not really knowing which way to turn!
There’s a real problem isn’t there. The person giving the directions is literally pointing the way, showing the way, but the person who is searching is lost, they cannot see which way to go, they can’t picture the roads, the turns, the scenery. They are lost and don’t know which direction to take.
And I don’t know if that’s your experience in life also. Have you ever felt completely lost because of a situation that life has thrown at you? Something that you just don’t know how to deal with, you don’t know which way to turn?.
And that can be almost any situation, looking for a new job, wondering if it’s the right thing for you or not. Worrying about financial situations, paying the bills. Our relationships with our partner, or family.
The lottery is a prime example, thousands of people hoping beyond hope that a win on the lottery will change their lives, just a big win will be all they need to transform everything, the life and their relationships. Yet look at how many winners are still unhappy, whose lives are torn apart by their new found wealth. So often people look for quick fixes, things that will help them to feel good about themselves in the short term, and so often that’s why people turn to drugs. Just a quick ‘pick me up’ to give the feel good factor– yet this sadly turns their life to ruin.
Many people, listen to the advice of others, and try to live their own lives on the back of others ideas or advice and again find themselves falling short or being unfulfilled.
Many people find themselves getting involved with people they wish they hadn’t. People who lead them astray or take them down the wrong paths in life.
Who likes a bit of retail therapy? I do. Why is it called Retail therapy because it’s a ‘feel good factor’. It helps us to feel good about ourselves for the short term. ! But the truth is nothing actually works does it?
For people who live like that, or find themselves in that situation, its like walking around with a blindfold on, wandering around in the dark, not knowing which way to turn or what to do, infact we don’t even know what were actually looking for. Even though there is someone pointing and showing us the way, but we don’t actually see them.
Now you’ve got to concentrate and I want you to count carefully the number of passes the team in white make to each other. Just the team in white. Not the team in black. Try to block out the black team, they will just confuse you. Focus on the team in white and count the number of passes they make.
You see so often we miss the obvious, even though its staring you in the face. Its clear and its there to see, yet we miss it.
And Jesus in our reading today makes a very clear statement. He says ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’
In other words, Jesus is saying he is the one who stands and shows the way. He is literally pointing, guiding and giving us the direction we need. If only we will look to him and allow him to lead us. He is the signpost we need, the one that will show us the way to live our lives, and direct us.
Lets have a look at some of these signposts, a little confusing, misleading. Sometimes we need a sign post that is clear and easy to understand. And that is Jesus.
He also says he is the truth, he is not like any other human being, he is perfect and totally trustworthy. Jesus is the one person that has lived that has never told a lie. Never mis-lead anyone. Never been solely interested in looking after number one. Can you get your head around that. I mean, lets think about this in a different way.
Post it notes.
So lets think about trying to put ourselves on a scale. Imagine theres a scale from here to the ceiling. At the bottom is someone who is completely wrong and by the worlds standard considered evil. Adolf Hitler.
Now at the top of the scale is someone who again by the worlds standard is considered holy and good. Mother Teresa. Shes as far as I can reach. Where am I, about here the middle. Probably.
But you see, were viewing this by our earthly standards. Not by gods standards. And the fact is even Mother Teresa is a sinner, she has done wrong in God’s sight and therefore she falls short of God’s perfect and holy standards. Only One person that ever lived can stand, only one person can reach God’s standards. Jesus.
He will not let you down, he can be depended on and he can be trusted. Other people will fail, others will fall short, but not Jesus, why- because he is God and he is perfect. And because he loves us so much that he was prepared to give his life for us.
So Jesus is the one who will show us the way, he is totally trustworthy –he is the truth, and he is the life.
You see, in him we actually realise what life is all about. In him we find the sense of inner being, the realisation of what we’re searching for. We find the reason for our creation. We were made to be in a relationship with God. And true life is only found in him. But more than that there is eternal life in heaven for those who believe and follow him. For those who trust in him and for those live their life for him. You see as Jesus died on that cross, he took our place, on that cross he took the punishment and the blame for everything that we have done wrong. The price has been paid. And so as Jesus rose again, he rose victorious. He had defeated sin and death. And because of that we are able to live life to the full. To be guaranteed of eternal life if we follow Jesus as our lord.
So you see Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. True life, is life lived in the reality of God’s love for you. That’s what life is. And jesus came that we might have life. And life in all fullness. Life through him.
But one final point, the verse carries on, ‘no-one comes to the father except through me, if you really knew me, you would know my father as well. From now on you do know him and have seen him’.
Jesus here is telling us quite clearly that it is only through believing in him and following him that we can come to God, only through faith in Jesus can we receive life and relationship with God, why, because he is God. Look at the last words of that verse. ‘From now on you do know him and have seen him’. Why because Jesus is God – and he is present with them, but more than that, he is present with us now, living and alive through his holy spirit in each one who believes and follows Jesus as Lord.
SO I urge you to keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, because he is the way, the truth and the life. He is the sat nav that will never take you down the wrong road. Keep your eyes fixed on him.