The Way to Truth and Life
Words by Beth Harris
Even as a small child, I cared about the details. I used to always ask numerous questions before relenting and doing what my parents or teachers asked of me. And while my information seeking has tempered as an adult, the need to know remains. I want time frames and expectations laid out before committing to a project. My friends tease me about my love for completed to-do lists and bullet-pointed notes for communication. While these traits have served me well professionally, there’s a deeper reason why organization and details are important to me: the unanswered is scary.
The days before Christ’s crucifixion were filled with uncertainty. I have often imagined what anxiety the disciples must have felt as the realization of Jesus’ death was hours away. John 13 revealed heavy news of a coming betrayal and their abandonment of Christ, which would have been head-spinning news for them. The life the disciples had lived for three years was going to come to a screeching halt, and Jesus assured them with words pointing to a future beyond this world:
“Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 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.” (John 14:1-3)
The disciple Thomas asked a question that revealed he focused on one thing: Jesus was going to leave, and Thomas felt like he needed answers.
“Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:4)
I get Thomas asking the question. In my tendency toward self-reliance, I trust the knowledge of the proven rather than faith unseen. And I miss the point of Jesus’ response to his searching disciple: “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
I have a thirst to know how the story will end before the chapters are lived, and that plagues those chapters with worry. Jesus, in His death for my sins, has through His immeasurable selfless love, embodied all the answers I need.
In her book None Like Him, Jen Wilkin wrote, “The antidote for anxiety is to remember and confess that we can trust the future to God.” Thomas could have kept his question to himself, allowing worry to consume his thoughts. He spoke his need directly to Jesus, modeling the response I desire to have in times of doubt. Thomas wanted to know the way in earthly terms of process and steps. Jesus revealed the better way: follow Him alone.
Following the Way reveals truth. Jesus prays in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” We can keep question-fueled anxiety at bay when we seek clarity from the source of all truth rather than opinions from the world. God’s Word never fails to deliver peace. Every doubt, worry, and fear has been answered through scripture.
And life? One of my favorite scriptures is 1 John 4:9 with its beautiful assurance to the believer: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.”
To live through Jesus Christ is a promised deliverance. The worries of this world are momentary—a blink in the light of eternity. Yes, they are important and have meaning in this space of time, but we can live rescued from the bondage of sin and death.
It’s perfectly fine to ask the questions and want the details, but we need to remember that the answers lie not in the ways or viewpoints of this world. The answers to our questions in times of uncertainty lie in the truths of God’s Word. We can rest in Christ’s way and live the life God has given us to worship and glorify Him.