March 24, 2004Email to a FriendPrint
Today’s Reading: John 14:1-17 & Psalm 32
Jesus answered, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
“Everyone’s going to the same place—we’re just taking different roads.” That’s a spiritually foolish and, frankly, very dangerous statement. It suggests that getting to heaven is like driving down a multilane highway—pick whichever lane you like. Not so, says Jesus Christ. “I am the Way. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Jesus announced to His first hearers that before Him, there was John—John the Baptizer. Remember John’s single sermon topic? Repentance. He preached repentance because that’s what his hearers needed to hear. Why? Because without repentance, the Way—Jesus Christ—is blocked.
Repentance begins with the soul-chilling realization of having broken God's thou shalt and His thou shalt not. It continues with a spiritual recognition: “Not only have I broken God's commandments and gone against His will, I have offended my God! I cannot and will not continue.” But repentance is also turning to God for forgiveness and for power. We drop to our knees in confession and receive His Absolution. We arise, strengthened by His Spirit, to move out into life and discipleship.
John the Baptizer’s sermon echoes down throughout the New Testament. The apostle Peter preached it to the rulers and elders in Jerusalem. Paul preached it to the congregation in Ephesus. Jesus Christ preached it from the beginning of His earthly ministry to its end. He paved the Way—beginning to end—with repentance.
Repentance—that God-given response in us to the sins we have committed and the good we have failed to do. Repentance—the Way is open!
Lord Jesus, You have brought us forgiveness through your death and resurrection; grant us the gift of Your Holy Spirit so that we may continue in You, the way to the kingdom of heaven. Amen.
Is sincere repentance part of your daily prayers?