How do we activate our faith? How do we apply what we read in the bible? What is the point of knowing about God without actually knowing God?
4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
“The Way” is a very popular term among Christians. It intrigues me, however, that Jesus uses it here to describe how to get to where He is going. Usually, we use this phrase to describe how we live our lives. Folks, it’s one in the same.
James tells us that faith without works is dead. Yet, we talk about grace and how you cannot earn your way into heaven. You can’t, however, we must note that our actions, our walk, “the way” in which we live our lives reflect whether or not we have chosen to follow Jesus or not. Certainly, we will screw it up. Ever have the best of intentions in doing something but wind up hurting someone instead?
Jesus tells us He is “The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” How do we respond to this? After Jesus’ resurrection and eventual ascension, the Christians were called people of “the way” because they had a “way” about them. They were different. They stood out amongst the crowd of society and were noticeably not of this world. This points to a pathway. They are walking in a different way because they are headed in a different direction. It is not that they have to act a certain way to get to heaven, but rather because they have a relationship with God, they act differently. I’m not denying that people act a certain way to get into heaven; I’m saying that Jesus tells us that it doesn’t work that way. He is the way.
He is also the truth. We read in the beginning of John that Jesus is the Word of God, which became flesh. This word is the truth of God, the reality of God’s love for us. I think it is easy for us to think that God is only limited to what we read in the bible. Certainly, it gives us a great biography on Him, but even John will tell us at the end of his book that all the things Jesus did on earth (that doesn’t count the rest of the time He wasn’t human) cannot be contained in enough books. He is the truth, whether or not you can handle it.
Jesus is also the Life. We see this, as I referenced earlier, explained in depth through His brother, James. James talks about living out the Word of God. It is a reflection of our maturity of faith in Him. Faith requires an action. A missionary friend of mine explains it this way. I can believe that a chair will hold me up all I want. I can perform tests on it, I can do research, and even ask a million other people about what their expert opinions are about the chair and their own experiences about it. However, it is all worthless knowledge if I don’t use it and activate it by actually sitting on it. This is when faith is activated and it is the life Jesus calls us to. He doesn’t call us to be perfect, rather he calls us to take that faith like a mustard seed and use it to move mountains. He calls us to take what we know, believe, and feel and act on it. We will never be sure of God if we don’t give Him a chance to prove Himself.
We have seen the Father, as Jesus tells Thomas. We have seen a glimpse of Him by reading His word, by seeing Jesus. When will we act on it? When will we step up and take action against what we don’t know with what we do know? As much as we try to prove or disprove the bible, we could go another 5 millennia and still not completely do so. Why? Because the point is not to know everything by merely reading and studying, but to know that He is God by relying on Him in faith, by taking that leap, and experiencing His faithfulness, love, and mercy to us. If you wait until you “have it all together” and know everything, you will never make the jump.