Jesus spoke these words in comfort to the disciples as He was preparing them for His death and departure. Some of the most comforting words Jesus spoke come in John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.4 And you know the way to where I am going.” Jesus wanted them to know He was leaving but for them not to fear and know He was going to get a place in heaven ready for them. Thomas did not understand and questioned Jesus in verse 5, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus’ answer is profound and complete. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 He went on to tell Thomas and the others how He and the Father were one and if they had seen Him then they also had see God the Father and knew Him to be true.
What did Jesus mean with His I AM statement? I am the way– the way to heaven and eternal life, the way to a relationship with God. I am the truth– He is the truth of God, the gospel. He is the Life-He is the giver of life-both physical and spiritual, the one who brings eternal life through faith in Him, the one who provides fullness of life here and now. The way to God is only through faith in Jesus. Jesus was God and knew that men would doubt, men would seek to earn their way to heaven, that men would claim they knew another way to get to heaven through faith in another person or things. Jesus knew what was coming and His answer leaves not room for those thoughts. He is the only way to God and He knows that way perfectly. He is the truth of God, the Life giver for now and eternity and the pathway to reach full relationship with God is through Him alone. Martin Luther had it right in His 5 Solices- Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone and Glory to God Alone. Our faith in Jesus rests on His Word, His person and His Work on the Cross on our behalf. Thank you Jesus.
Have a blessed day as you ponder the narrowness of the Way to God but also the broadness of it’s extent. Not one is excluded from coming to Him. All can come to Him in faith and will be saved. His arms are wide open to everyone of faith.
All summer I have been writing about God’s names in the Old Testament seeing that God is our refuge, our glorious sword, our King, our provider and so much more. As we enter fall, I want to switch to the New Testament voice of Jesus and who He says He is to us. He made 7 ‘I am’ statements that are equal in measure with God’s statement to Moses in Exodus 3:14 when he questioned God, asking who shall I say has sent me? God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Picture the scene that John portrays in John 6. The crowds were pressing Jesus and asking Him for a sign to show that He was God. They wanted a tangible sign from Jesus and reminded Him of the manna that God sent to the children of Israel while wandering in the desert. Jesus told them God had sent them true bread from heaven to give life to the world. Of course, “They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus replies with His first of the 7 I AM statements. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:34-35 Jesus goes on to assure them further, “36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Jesus came to show us the Father, to do His will and hold us as His own. We never need to fear what man can do as God holds us tighter than tight and sees to our needs. Knowing Jesus brings satisfaction for your spiritual hunger to know God and to be fed by Him.
Do you allow God to feed you daily from His Word? Jesus, the very bread of life, is ever present in God’s Word and John even refers to Jesus as the Word in John 1:1-4 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Jesus is the Word and has the very words of life for us in the Bible. Read the Word today and let Him feed and nurture you as you seek to know Him. He will sustain you with pure spiritual food that will always satisfy. Jesus promises He is the true bread of life that we need for living an authentic life before Him.
For 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and others to show them living proof that He was alive. On Resurrection Sunday He met the women in the garden, and the two men walking on the Road to Emmaus. In today’s passage, Jesus appeared to those disciples gathered in the Upper Room.
“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.’ When he had said them he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.” Luke 24:36-43
What was their immediate concern? Is Jesus real or are we experiencing hallucinations? What is your reaction when confronted by Jesus? Do you doubt who Jesus is and question His reaching out to you? Do you think your feelings are not real?Jesus reassured the disciples that He was a real living being just as He promised. He proved it to them by showing them His hands and feet- pierced at the cross, and eating. How does Jesus make himself known to you? Does He come to you in prayer, in the helping hands of others or through His Word? Jesus can and does reveal himself to us if we are open and willing. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus tells us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”Be a seeker today and know the joy of His presence. Be amazed as you encounter the living Lord Jesus, just as the disciples did in the upper room. Each encounter with Jesus brings new revelation and understanding of who He is!
Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have hope. Lent it a time of reflection and I was thinking what life would be like if Jesus had not come. I would be dead in my sins without hope. I would face eternal punishment because there would be no way to approach holy God. Jesus’ death on the cross changed all that. Praise God! Thank you Jesus! Here are some verses to offer up in praise for the work of our Savior.
Psalm 62:5 “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.”
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
1 Peter 1:21 “who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Because Jesus came, died and rose again, I can have hope for a life lived by faith today and a hope of future glory. That is a blessed hope! Thank you Jesus.
Suggestion: Today as you consider the hope you have in Jesus, express to someone something you are hopeful about and why. It could be as simple as “I hope you have a good day” to “I am hopeful because of Jesus.” Show someone you possess hope. If they ask you why you have hope then you can explain, as today you have the answer! Jesus.
In Isaiah 56:1-2the Lord reveals that blessings come from doing what is right, supporting justice, looking forward to God’s salvation, keeping the Sabbath and staying away from doing evil. God promises that living a life based in His righteousness leads to blessings.
This is what the Lord says, “Maintain justice and do righteousness, For My salvation is soon to come, And My righteousness and justice is soon to be revealed. “Blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it, Who keeps the Sabbath without profaning it, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Isaiah 56:1-2 (AMP)
Blessings are gifts of divine favor that bring happiness into our lives. Living our lives with a desire to do what is right is a gift from God. Seeking His righteousness that He reveled through Jesus will help us walk with Him each day and bring blessing. I love the way God tells us to take hold, grab onto this lifestyle so we can receive His blessings and favor to the fullest. Keeping the Sabbath, a day devoted to worship, family, praise and one that is a respite from our days of working that life requires, will bring blessing. We must really strive to live apart from the world and its ways that are based in greed and self-fulfillment. I like the description James gives us in 1:26-27 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Watching what we say is of upmost importance, doing good for others and keeping ourselves unstained by the world’s standards and acts is what God is looking for in our lives and in our hearts as we seek to show love and devotion to Him.
“Blessed (happy, fortunate) is the man who does this, is the goal God has set before us. Knowing that a life lived for God is based on His righteousness and reflects His justice, love, mercy, compassion and hope for the world around us. Look for His blessings as you walk with Him today. He is forever faithful and will do as He promises.
Psalm 128 gives a summary of blessedness for the believer who follows God and clings to Him in the midst of a sinful world. The list of blessings is not all inclusive nor does it mean that because we do not experience these blessings something is wrong. Rather, the believer can rest assured that God will bless him/her. A truth that is seen throughout the Bible is that God blesses His people. Faith brings blessings.
128 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, The believer is gifted by God who walks in his ways! as he walks with him each day.
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your work is blessed.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Your home and family are blessed.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! Your city and nation are blessed. 6 May you see your children’s children! Your life will be long Peace be upon Israel! and filled with peace.
God blesses us each day as we walk with Him. The blessings will look differently for each one of us but the truth of this psalm is that God’s blessings effect our entire life. From our selves to our work to our home to our city and nation. He blesses in all areas of our life and desires that we make an impact on those around us for the sake of the gospel. Paul summarizes his reasons for work and ministry in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
As you walk with the Lord today, look for His blessings in your life. Seek to share God’s blessings with others so they may come to know your Savior and seek Him too.