A guy had to take a trip to a location he was unfamiliar with. The trip would take him to an appointment with a very important client, and a business deal that could make him a lot of money. He had no idea how to get there, or even what to look for. As he was planning, the dude had a discussion with one friend who gave him directions, but kind of in the red-neck sort of way. “Go down past the old pine tree, and turn left just before the white picket fence. Then go a while and just before you get to old farmer Jones place, take the fork in the road to the left…” By the time his friend finished, the guy had no idea where to go, and was even more confused.
A little later in the day, the guy saw another friend. The man explained his predicament to this friend. How can I find my destination? This friend took out a piece of paper and drew the man a map. The map showed different roads and landmarks. When he got done drawing the map, he handed it to the guy and told him to follow the map and he would find his way. When the friend left, the guy looked at the map. It seemed self-explanatory, yet, he couldn’t quite make out which roads to turn on and where he should stop. The map was helpful, but the man was still confused and unsure how to get to his destination.
Just before having to leave for his trip, the man ran into a third friend. This friend said, “Yep, been in that area of the woods a number of times.” Then the friend said something to the man that gave him hope. “You know what, I am not busy today. How about if I go with you today. I can be your personal map and guide.”
Jesus was having a discussion with His disciples about a journey and a destination. That destination was to His Father and His Father’s house. He said He would be leaving them to prepare this mansion with many rooms. Not only this, the house He was preparing was especially for them, His followers. But even better than the house, this destination would feature the presence of God and fellowship with Jesus forever.
Thomas question seems to be the obvious one. “Jesus, you are leaving and going to this awesome place. And it seems that you are inviting us to join you. One problem, how do we get there?” I can imagine that the disciples expected Jesus to give them some instructions on how to follow God, or some kind of map on how they could live their lives to get to heaven. “If you do good deeds, and go to church, pray a lot, read the Bible,” they expected. But Jesus response was radically different. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gets to the Father except by way of Me.”
Jesus message to the disciples was that of the third friend. He didn’t give them directions and send them on their way, hoping to find this destination. He didn’t draw them a map, believing that they could figure it out on their own. Jesus said, “I’ll go with you, I am the way. I’ll tell you where to turn and what road to follow, I am the truth. And when you lose your way and feel like you can’t go on, I am the life. Oh, and one last thing. The only way to get there is by way of Me. Without Me, you cannot see the Father or get to heaven.”