Jesus Is The Way

The world is a hurting place right now. There is so much anger and division and self-righteousness, and too much hatred and hypocrisy. If everyone just stays the course the future is gnarly nasty. And if we admit it, it's way easy to just get caught up in it all.


If you don't like the way the world is behaving, or the direction it is heading, there is another way. You don't have to follow the crowd, you don't go down the same way that everyone else is going.


Today we start a new series on A New Direction.


Starting here, if you are beginning to realize that our world is not as wise as it claims, or as loving or as healthy or as kind as it pretends to be, there is another way, better way—and you can take it.


Jesus warned the people of His day,


Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it."


While it seems there are a million paths to take in life, Jesus says there are two, the one way that everyone seems to be on leads to destruction, and the other leads to life. Are you on the road that leads to the right place, to life?


It's similar to the choice of two paths that God gave to ancient Israel,


Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.


Before I go on, you might argue, "It's more like there are a million different roads, 1000 different schools of thought, different politics, different religions, different views of truth and morality, and different ways to get your buzz on."


Jesus' point is that EVERY OTHER WAY is just a different lane on the same broad highway. To Jesus every other way sounds the same. Looks the same. Produces the same results. And leads to the same sad and empty place.


Jesus says there are TWO WAYS. One is wildly popular; most of the world, pretty much everyone who's anyone is on this road.


The wide road starts here, "Put yourself at the center of your universe." Make life work on your terms. Choose your own truth. Your own morality. Don't hold yourself back from any desire.


That's the broad road that leads to destruction. You are the center of your universe! Not God. Not others. Not anyone who disagrees or stands in your way. Be whatever you want to be. And despise those who think differently, and destroy those who make you feel guilty. It'll make you feel better.


We feel good about ourselves, even kind of heroic when we point out the faults of evil people.


This is the wide road that leads to death and destruction.


Everyone hopes it leads to peace and fulfillment but it cannot deliver what it promises. It doesn't lead to life, it sucks the life out everyone who's on it. It's self-righteous. Hateful. This way is unsustainable. It's the wrong way.


In 2021, if you want to go somewhere different from where the whole world is heading, you have to take a different path, a different way. And there is a different way, a better way. Jesus called it the narrow way because there's only one entrance, one gate, Christ Himself.


The authors of scripture call it "the way of peace," "the way of righteousness," and "the way of God." But in John 14 Jesus made an even bolder assertion,


John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." 


Jesus doesn't just point to a better lifestyle. He doesn't say follow Me and I'll show you a better way. Jesus wasn't just an example of how to live a better way. Jesus is the better Way. He is the only Way that leads to a better place.


Jesus is the only way to the Father, and to heaven, and to eternal life, and peace. This is a huge statement: "No one comes to the Father except through me."


Being better than others doesn't help. Working harder. Caring more, or not caring at all doesn't matter. No good works. No amount of wokeness helps.


1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all.


Jesus as the Son of God is uniquely able to bring peace with you and God.


2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."


Jesus Christ offered His perfect Self in our place and He took our guilt upon Him and paid the penalty in our place, so when you trust Him, you can be sure that God loves you unconditionally forever.

So how do you get on this road?

By trusting Jesus that He makes you right with God, that He gives everyone who believes in Him eternal life.


John 6:40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.


We get on this road by trusting that Jesus gave Himself as the acceptable ransom not only for all but for you. And God raised Him from the dead. This separates God from every other supposed peer.


Because of His death and resurrection, when you trust Jesus, you can know that God is for you and He cares for you and inhabits you in a special way.


You can begin to value and follow Jesus' ways. Grow in His wisdom. And love rather than hate. Forgive and not destroy. Heal rather fear.

 

Jesus takes us to a different place. And He gives us a different view along the way. A different view of God. A different view of what matters. A different view of ourselves; an identity that makes you infinitely and eternally valuable.


This is a gift. It is not merited in any way, and it cannot be forfeited by any fault in us. Jesus simply and freely gives this gift of eternal life and a new way to live with faith and love and liberty to those who trust Him for these.


So again, if you're beginning to see the way of the world is not necessarily loving or healthy or wise, Jesus offers a new way. He promises to bring you to the Father. To give you peace. The gift of eternal love and eternal life.  


So let Jesus save you from the futility of making life work on your own. It doesn't work. Let Jesus save you from hating God because you have a wrong view of God, or He let you down, or you think He hates you. Don't stay on the same path as everyone else.  


Trust Him. His death for your sin. His resurrection for your salvation. Trust Jesus for this. And let Jesus guide your path. Let Jesus be your path.


Over the next few weeks we'll look at those things that help us to stay on the right path. The Bible Works. Prayer is Connection. Church is Community. Grace is Real. The Mission is Ours. I encourage you watch the whole series.


If you have any needs or prayer requests you email the elders at elder@graceunited.church