Monday, May 23, 2011

Sermon on John 14:1-14, for the 5th Sunday of Easter, "The Way, the Truth, and the Life"

1. Is it important to know the way if you’re looking to get somewhere? Finding your way—directions, maps, GPS, Google maps, a navigator or guide. How important is our destination?
a. Want to get to heaven; Father’s mansions.
b. We’re lost if we don’t know the way. Directionless.
c. Try the Dave Ramsey test—close your eyes, all point in the direction you think is north. How many are right? Have all point South. Does that change which way is North? How is this like our faith in Jesus?
d. Are you spiritually directionless? Multitudes of answers how to get there.

2. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” Christian author put it this way: “Without the Way there is no going, without the Truth there is no knowing, without the Life there is no living.”
a. Without the Way there is no going—can’t get to the Father, to heaven without Jesus. Jesus is the only way. Thomas thought he was lost, but he had Jesus. Not a map or a GPS or list of directions to follow, but the person who is the Way.
b. What does Jesus’ claim say about other religions or paths to God?
c. How do people distort or change Jesus’ words to work around them?

i. All gods are really the same, just with different names. (remember the North example??) (ignores glaring contradictions)
ii. Dishonest use of words, change the meaning from what’s clear and simple
iii. Analogy: mother tells son: “No video games or TV today!” son reinterprets
iv. Another attempt: Hindu story of the wise king and the elephant—blind men only feel or experience part of the elephant—don’t realize it’s a connected whole. Presumption of superior knowledge, privileged insight, they know better than all believers
d. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Know Jesus and you know God. Know Jesus and you have seen God because He and the Father are One. Work in unison.

3. “Without the Truth there is no knowing.”
a. The natural man (our sinful flesh) cannot understand the things of God, for they are spiritually discerned. Through Christ our minds are opened to know
b. “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
c. We have the truth when we are aligned with “True North”—that is Jesus
d. Knowing Jesus is knowing the Father, seeing Jesus is seeing the Father. The Way is a person, not directions. The Truth is a person, not a set of data.
e. His Word leads us into all truth and wisdom.

4. “Without the Life there is no Living”
a. People often say: “never really lived until you’ve done ____.” Usually its an exaggerated way of say that you really are missing out on something thrilling or delicious or beautiful or exciting. Your life is somehow impoverished or poorer for missing it.
b. You haven’t really lived until you know Jesus! Instead of a life of instant gratification, delay gratification, but present peace and hope amidst trials & temptations. Strength against sin that enslaves to death. Can’t hang onto life if in pursuit of death.

5. Not directionless, not lost, but Christ has found us, and sought us. He leads and guides us to Himself—the person who is the way on which we go, the truth by which we know, the life in which we live. May your going be guarded, your knowing be informed by His truth, and your living filled with Jesus’ life.

Sermon Talking Points
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1. Why does believing in God, that is, believing in Jesus, bring peace to the troubled heart? John 16:22-23; Phil. 4:7; 1 Tim. 1:5

2. For what reason did Jesus ascend into heaven after rising from the dead? John 13:36; 14:2-3; 16:7. When will He bring us with Him?

3. Rather than give “directions” or a checklist to get into heaven, Jesus points Thomas to Himself (Jesus), as the Way. What is significant about the fact that the Way is a person? What does it mean that “without the Way, there is no going?”

4. How does Jesus’ message that He is the only Way to the Father run against the grain of our human thinking? How do people today try to change these words of Jesus? Why is it so important that we be able to turn people away from “dead-end paths?” cf. Acts 4:12

5. What does it mean that “without the Truth, there is no knowing?” How is Jesus the source of Truth? John 1:1-2; 17; 8:32; 16:13; 17:17; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Timothy 2:4.

6. How does human knowledge set itself against God’s truth? 1 Corinthians 2 (esp. v. 14); 2 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:3-5; Rom. 1:25

7. What does it mean that “without the Life, there is no living?” Mark 8:35; John 1:4; 3:15; 5:24-29; 10:10.

8. What does our sinful nature often propose is the “real life?” Eph. 2:3; 2 Tim. 2:22; Titus 2:12;

9. How is knowing Jesus to know and see the Father as well? John 5:18-29; 8:12ff. What does such faith in God bring us in eternity?

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