Finding ‘the’ way
The – used to indicate that someone or something is best known or most important of that name of type. People use the word “the” to announce the top item in a certain list. For example: In your opinion … what is “the” greatest dessert? Who was “the” greatest quarterback? What is “the” greatest love song of all time? What is “the” greatest vacation destination? Which sport is “the” most fun to watch?
The — not “a” — because “a” can have other options in the discussion. A good quarterback is Tom Brady — but is he “the” greatest of all time? A good dessert is chocolate pie — but is that even close to Blue Bell Ice Cream? A great love song is “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” but does that even come close to Whitney Houstons “I Will Always Love You”? (absolutely not).
You see, “the” is a definitive proclamation. The problem with “the” is, folks no longer care to lock in a definite answer. Whatever you desire is cool, and I will respect your opinion. Even in sports, we struggle to determine “the” greatest and promote them as anyone involved gets the same recognition and trophy of participation simply for showing up. This isn’t right.
When it comes to faith and when it comes to living for Christ, participation trophies won’t cut it. You have to be all-in. You see, Jesus isn’t “a” way…He is “the” way. In the gospel of John Chapter 14 verse 6, Jesus clearly and loudly proclaimed: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to The Father except through me.” Woe! Talk about a bold assertion.
Jesus never claimed to be “a” way — He proved, and clearly answered, He was “the” way. When Jesus gives this clear announcement, is He trying to pull rank? Nope. Is He trying to say He is better than anyone else? Not at all. Is He saying this as a threat? Not even close. Jesus is telling all who will hear and listen that He is “the” way in hopes of having them gain the peace and comfort He alone can give. No other person ever proved to be the, “The.” Jesus never usurped his authority to gain power — the power was already and always was His. Jesus isn’t trying to belittle anyone — He is trying to give freedom in the only way possible.
While God allows folks to make their own decisions and follow what they desire, He does so in order to not have robots. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. He simply told and showed how to gain all we would ever need or desire: “The” way through Christ. #bethegood.
Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor at Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.