This past Sunday, we looked at Jesus’ words in The Gospel of John, chapter 14: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” I talked about the importance of reading a passage in its context in order to get a better grasp of its meaning. In this particular context, Jesus had begun preparing his disciples for his death. He let them know that he would soon be leaving them, so they felt quite lost and uncertain of the way before them. It was hard for them to imagine their lives without him…or what they should do next…or where they should go. So Thomas asked Jesus how they could know the way (without him). This is when Jesus said those famous words, “I am the way, the truth and the life….” Some preachers use these words to invalidate all other religions, as if Thomas had asked, “Jesus, what about all of the other religions in the world? Will the followers of other religions go to heaven?” This was the furthest thing from Thomas’ mind. He and the other disciples were wondering how they would find their way in the dark days ahead after Jesus was gone, for he was the one who loved them and guided them.
Jesus’ words were a comfort to persons preparing for grief and wondering how they would find their way. In this context, Jesus seemed to be saying, “You don’t have to look very far ahead of you. In fact, just look to me. I am the way.” I think this was his way of letting them know that the person standing in front of them would remain with them even after he was gone. These words have proven to be a great comfort to me this week. My mother died last night in her sleep, and I write these words on the airplane traveling home to be with family. As I wonder what the world will be like in the days to come without Mom in it, I know that she will remain in my mind and heart. Just as the Spirit of Jesus remains after all these years, I have a feeling that my mother’s spirit will remain with me throughout my life. I hope these words bring comfort to all who have grieved. As you think of those who have loved and guided you, I hope you will continue to sense their love throughout life and eternity.
By the way, I will be in California for a week to help with family decisions, as well as cleaning, sorting, tossing, donating, etc. at Mom’s place. I look forward to seeing everyone again a week from Sunday. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Aloha nui loa!