The Way, the Truth, and the Life
From John 14: 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
In many Bibles, those words are written in red - because Jesus is the speaker. Some people, especially in these modern times, say things like 'there are several paths to God.' Jesus obviously has a different idea. And while many people want to define their own truth, and conveniently get rid of any idea of any path to God holding them accountable for actions, Jesus's words cut right to the bone. There is no misunderstanding these words. In several translations, these words remain the same. That alone helps convey the pointed nature of the statement.
When I hear someone say that we should be able to find different paths to God, I often ask myself, 'so what does this person not want to answer for?' I cannot help it. It was the way I was raised. I see the words of Jesus in John 14, and I accept His words as just that: The Way;
'The truth.' That is what I was always taught growing up. But think about there being differing 'paths'. How is that any different than wanting to 'define your own truth?' You see, just like science proves certain physical truth in the tangible world, if one acknowledges God at all - then God has to be what dictates the moral truth. So can I decide that my 'chosen path to God' is achieved by killing someone who believes something different from me? What if that is 'my truth?' Kind of blows the whole idea of finding your own path, doesn't it? Doesn't really make life's path to God sound too promising, does it? So what do we do then? Does the person who stated that they were finding their own path get to adjust their words, conveniently, to say, 'Well ok; maybe it is up to everyone to find their own path to God by doing good?' Ah, but who gets to determine what is good?
Can you see how muddy this can get? How can any one person, claim they've found the path to God, if they are still here, but can't even determine what is true and what isn't? The truth, if it is true, would be undeniable...right? Or would it? We could go round and round with this, if there is no definitive truth. While I would love to dive deeper into the muddy waters of philosophical truth, let's look at something that tells the truth better than anything else out there.
The bare bones definition of self-defense tells the truth like nobody's business. According to dictionary.com, it is described as the act of defending one's person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant. Someone decides to punch you in the face. You choose to counter the blow by blocking it, parrying it, dodging it, or absorbing it. But the fact remains that the attack still comes. You choose to respond accordingly, but no matter your response, if you choose to do nothing, you will get PUNCHED IN THE FACE. How you got punched is irrelevant, if you decided to do nothing about it. If you don't want to get punched, you must respond.
This goes back to the whole subjective reasoning of a path to God, and the truth of morality. If one decides to pursue whatever path to God they wish, but happens to be wrong, according to the words of Jesus, the hard truth that they will be condemned to hell, will hit them in the face. If one decides that there is no God, but also happens to be wrong, and therefore also chooses to not follow 'The Way,' then they will also get punched in the face by TRUTH.
Don't misunderstand me. The truth of Jesus is not like the various responses I can choose to handle the truth. The truth of Jesus is the punch itself. It's coming. Anything evil standing in its way, will be knocked out. Don't you see? The truth of Jesus is not that different than when a sifu or boxing instructor tells you that the blow is coming. He is letting you know that this certain blow is coming. If he is worth his salt, he wants you to imitate him. And how do we imitate the master?
If we know what's good for us, we certainly don't want to absorb the blow - certainly not a full-blown, Second Coming blow. If we know the real truth of the matter, we certainly know it is futile to block it. Perhaps, since He was nice enough to tell us He is coming, we step aside from the 'foolish path' (the path of our own choosing), and we do what Jesus told Thomas and all those other guys around A.D. 30.
We follow Him.