FBCWest 590 | The Only Road to the God Is Jesus
Recorded On: 01/21/2024
Hymn # 435 “He Keeps Me Singing”
SCRIPTURE READING – Philippians 4:4 - 7
Giving of Selves and Our Offerings
OFFERTORY MUSIC – Pru Hungate
Praise and Worship
“How Great Is Your Love”
“Only King Forever”
“Great Are You Lord”
Proclamation of the Word
Message by Pastor Joe
“The Only Road to the God Is Jesus”
“The Lord’s Prayer (It’s Yours)”
John 14:1 Believe in God and in Jesus
John 14:2 & 3 In the Father’s house are many dwelling places and Jesus goes not only to prepare a place for us, but to come again and takes us to Him
John 14:4 & 5 Jesus tells them they know where He is going, but they say they do not
John 14:6 & 7 Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life You only get to the Father through Him
Transcript of Service
In our culture today, you will hear the word inclusive or inclusivity a lot. Jesus teaches when it comes to relationship with God, there are two contradictory terms. There is inclusivity, but there is also exclusivity. Come and see what Jesus talks about when it comes to having a relationship with the Father.
Jesus has been celebrating Passover with his disciples.
Most of the people in our congregation have gone to at least one Passover Seder. Part of the Passover Seder is to share the meal.
And then Jesus adds a couple of things to it. He incorporates what we would call the communion or the Lord's Supper. He also incorporated washing of feet. But a part of a Passover Seder, not only is the meal, is the teaching.
In the Old Testament version, the young people in the house asked certain questions and then the Father would give the answers.
I somewhat doubt that the disciples asked Jesus those questions because they had been doing it for all of their lives. But Jesus taught and Jesus taught by action, by washing the disciples' feet, and by doing other teaching.
And he has also been telling them that he has given them a new commandment to love one another as he has loved them. And then he has been telling them that he is going to be betrayed and that he is leaving them and that they can't follow. And they are asking questions about what is going on and they seem to be very perturbed and troubled by his statements that he is leaving and where he is going they cannot come. And so in answer to those questions, again while he is still at the Passover Seder, he says in verse 1 of chapter 14, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me."
Now Jesus is well aware of having a troubled heart. We see him even in the midst of this celebration and later when he is looking forward to and dealing with his crucifixion that his heart is troubled. And so he totally understands but he sees that they are perturbed, that they are troubled by some of his teachings. And so he is telling them, "Don't let your heart be troubled."
Now all too often how we interpret this verse is, "Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe that there is a God." That's not what it says. It says, "Believe in God." Trust in God.
When God says something, God does it. So it's not a belief that there is a God, it's that you trust God.
Whatever the situation may be, however anxious or uncertain or problematic the situation may be, Jesus says the way to avoid a troubled heart is trusting God.
But also believe or trust in him, in me. It's the same thing because Jesus keeps saying, "The Father and the Son are the same.
Believing in the Father is believing in the Son. Believing in the Son is believing in the Father. There is no separation."
And he's going to continue on with this.
He's been doing it and he's going to continue to do it, but there is no separation. So trust God. Trust me.
And then he says, here's the reason why.
"In my Father's house are many dwelling places or in the King James' many mansions. And if it were not so, I would have told you." So he tells them that as he's been teaching them and talking about his Father's house, he's saying, "There are many places to dwell.
If it were simply a parable, just a teaching about something, then I would have told you
But he's saying, "There is heaven. There is a place that is going to be prepared for you specifically.
And if it wasn't true, I would have told you."
So he goes, "There's this many places."
And then he says, "And I go to prepare a place for you."
Showing that it's not a one size fits all.
He's preparing a place for each of us, however that place may be prepared, it is a place prepared for us.
Now it's amazing that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus.
It's amazing that he says, "Don't let your heart be troubled. You can trust in God." But he loves us so much that he prepares a place for us.
And he goes, "And I go to prepare a place for you." So Jesus said, "I'm going, and when I go, it's not that I'm going to be sitting doing nothing. I'm preparing a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will once again come and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may also be."
So he's saying, "I'm going to go, and I'm going to prepare a place for I'm coming back."
So notice Jesus is saying, "You don't need to have a troubled heart that I'm leaving because I'm going to prepare a place for you in heaven in my Father's house. And then I'm going to after I prepare a place for you, I'm coming back to get you, not to leave you here again, but so that you might dwell in my Father's house forever."
You see, King David had a small glimpse of that in the 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want." And then towards then he says, "And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
He doesn't go there to prepare a place that we might rent, but that we might live, reside, dwell forever.
So that there you may be also. So we are going to be with him. It's not like, "Oh, I'm going to go away. I'm going to prepare a place for you, and I'm going to come get you, and then I'm going to leave you again." No, we're going to dwell in my Father's house together forever.
And he says, "And you know the way for I am going."
So Jesus has been telling them the way that he's going, and you would think that he had caught on to it by now. But the disciples are just like you and me.
After the 87th time you tell somebody something, you keep thinking they'll tell you again so you don't have to remember it. And so Jesus keeps teaching and reminding them, and they keep forgetting.
So Thomas, being Thomas, says, "And Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you're going. How do we know the way?"
People like to say there's no stupid questions.
This is getting real close.
Because what did Jesus just say? I'm going to my Father's house to prepare a place for you. And I'm going to come back and get you so that we might dwell together forever in my Father's house.
Thomas said, "Lord, we don't know where you're going. He just told us where he was going."
So I feel really good as your pastor.
Because I can teach some things, and you have no clue what I'm talking about. And I go, "Well, at least I have good companies because Jesus and the disciples didn't have a clue either." So it's not my bad teaching. It's so he goes, "We don't know where you're going. And if we don't know where you're going, we don't know the way."
Well, that's somewhat true in the sense of, if you don't know where you're going, any road is fine.
And that's what happens with a lot of people in religious thought today.
They don't know where they're going, so any road is fine.
And most places you want to go to, you can go there by more than one road.
From here, you can get to San Diego by a couple of different freeways. You could almost go all the way down the coast, except there is a spot that you've got to get off the road and then go down. But there's a number of ways to get places.
But Jesus is going to say, not so in this instance, "It is critical that you know the road, that you know the way."
So Jesus said to him, "I am the way." I'm going to stop there. Jesus says, "I am the road."
We have in our culture today a word that is so used.
To my narrow-mindedness, overused. Everybody wants to be inclusive.
We're all going to have inclusivity.
It's not good unless we're all inclusive.
The relationship to have with God has a kind of a contradictory twist.
You see, a relationship with God is inclusive.
Jesus in the beginning of his ministry, when he was talking in the academia, said, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life." He talks about that he didn't come to condemn the world, but the world might believe through him.
That statement there is, "It doesn't matter your ethnicity." I don't like to use the word race because there's only one race, the human race. We all came from Adam and Eve. We all just have different colors. I'm not white, I'm beige. So I use the word ethnicity because I don't like the word race because there's not different races. So it doesn't matter your ethnicity.
It doesn't matter what country you come from. You can come from England or America or Japan or China or India. It doesn't matter for God so loved the world.
So it's inclusive. It doesn't matter your socioeconomic background. You can be rich, you can be poor, you can be middle class, you can be moving up and down all those things.
And it doesn't matter your educational level.
Well, it seems the more educated people get to be, the dumber they are. But it doesn't matter your, some of the most wise people I've met are people who barely got through high school. But it doesn't matter how learned you are or unlithered.
God has come and has included you. So he's inclusive, but he's also exclusive.
Jesus is the way.
Heaven isn't not Rome.
And back in Jesus' day they said all roads lead to Rome.
All roads don't lead to heaven.
Only the road Jesus leads there to God the Father. So he says, "I am the way." Not a way, not a part of the way. It is the way. If you want to get to God the Father, you've got to go through Jesus.
And he says, "I am the truth."
Another thing that our culture bugs me, it's currently, well, it's your truth and my truth.
It's even infected some of Christian music. You're hearing about God's truth. No, no. God is truth.
Jesus is saying here, not exclusively, because the Creeks, when they talk about truth, they were thinking about enlightenment, about knowledge.
And when the Hebrews and the Jews thought about it, they thought about morality.
Truth here is those two plus the revelation of who God is.
Jesus is the truth revealing who God is. You want to know who God is? Look at Jesus. You want to know what God would do? Look at Jesus. You want to know what God thinks? Look at Jesus. You want to know what God is doing in the world? Look at Jesus. Whatever we do, we are revealed by the Father through the Son.
It is God speaking to us in these last days in his Son. He is the revealed truth. He is truth. He's not a truth. He is truth. He is truth. He is truth. He is truth. And the life.
This is what makes Christianity so unique in the sense of there are some religions
that believe in a heaven, in a wonderful place.
They're never sure how they're going to get there.
So some of them will martyr themselves.
Some of them will try to do enough good things to get there.
Jesus offers us not just an abundant life here, but eternal life.
And that we might know that we have life because he has given us grace. And how do we know that we have been given grace? Because we have faith in Jesus.
He is life.
He gives life.
Every single breath that we breathe now and for the rest of the time that we breathe is because he can sense it.
He gives us life.
He holds the universe together.
Colossians will tell us that the whole world would just fly apart if it wasn't for Jesus holding it together.
And not only does he give us the initial life, he gives us eternal life. It's not life, death, life. It's life.
And he is the truth.
He is the life. But beginning with, he is the way.
He is exclusive.
I didn't say this.
And he should know because he came from the Father.
And he and the Father determine who would have access to their dwelling places.
And the access to their dwelling places before he ever spoke, let there be life.
He determined access to them would be only by faith in the Son.
Well, you're so narrow-minded.
Because he said so.
I didn't make the rule. I didn't give you life.
I can't give you eternal life. He can.
But he gives all of us the opportunity to go to the Father.
It's just one requirement that you have faith in the Son.
If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him.
They're saying here that Jesus says, "This is who I am."
This is who the Father is. You want to see the Father? Look at me.
You want to see me? You see the Father. They are one.
It cracks me up when I read religious people and even theologians who say that Jesus grew up not knowing who He was. It's amazing how dumb theologians can be.
From the time that Jesus was born until the time that He said, "It is finished," He knew exactly who He was and what His purpose was to bring glory to God the Father, to be obedient to God the Father, even under the pain and shame of the crucifixion so that we might have access.
So for those who would say, "Well, why is it that Jesus is the only way?"
Well, my answer is a couple of reasons, because that's why God said so.
And Jesus did, and we will see, saw it another way, and He said, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, but nevertheless Your will be done."
So if Jesus' death and resurrection was not essential to our life, then there could have been a different way.
But there wasn't.
So Jesus was obedient to the Father so that we might have access.
And so Jesus is saying what He is doing and who He is. He is the way, not a way. He is the truth, and He is the life.
And we look at Jesus and say, "I will take my stand on that testimony, because He said so. I believe it. Let not your heart be troubled.
Believe in God. Believe also in me." Well, my belief in God says that my belief to receive eternal life is to accept Jesus as my Lord.
And believing that, I take a stand.
And believing that, I am assured that God does what God says, and all God's people said.