How many of us have been lost? No, I’m not starting off with some massive, deep thought – it is a simple question – when have you been lost? Shopping centres, cities or perhaps the great outdoors – sometimes we just need direction.
Living in Brighton, I have the perfect mix of city, sea and country. The view from my flat is the English Channel in one direction and the rolling hills of the South Downs in another. In the summer there is nothing I love more than either going down for a lazy afternoon at the beach or an adventure in the country. As a Devonshire boy, my heart will always belong to the persuasion of rural life. However, no matter how rural you are, the chances are one will most likely get lost at some point or another. Thanks to the lovely folks at the National Trust though, we can depend on signposts dotted along the landscape, to point us back home. No matter how off-track I go I know that if I walk in the direction it points, I’ll be back in Brighton, I’ll be home. It points in exactly the direction I need to go.
Man has always asked where to go, whether it is with work, family or a direction in life. We are quite naturally lost. One question we will ask ourselves is though where God comes into things. Is there a God? How can we know God? What do I look to? Throughout time, religions have claimed to know where to look to find God – and they all claim different things. For example; Hinduism looks to a God in many forms so look to them for direction, Judaism says that to know the one God, you must know the law. But what does Christianity say? Well, what we actually need to be asking is ‘What does Jesus say?’.
The answer is given to us quite clearly in the Bible.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 (ESV)
These are some big claims in very few words here, but they’re words that challenge the arguments made by other faiths. By saying “I am the way”, Jesus hasn’t just challenged those He is talking to; He is at risk of massive offense. Don’t look to the law to know God, yes you’ll learn a lot, but does it recognise Christ? No, well then you won’t see God.
Jesus then goes further with his declaration concerning himself “…the truth, and the life.” You see, Jesus can’t be looked on as just some smart chap or well educated prophet – because He isn’t! He declares Himself as the provision of life.
His most challenging claim however is kept til last “No one comes to the Father except through me”. Jesus is saying that the law, rituals and deities are not slower routes to God, they’re not routes to God at all. They may help you live a more peaceful life and certainly fall under active religion, but Christ says you will never know your Creator by looking to these practises.
So when you’re out on the Downs, what happens if you ignore the signposts and go in opposite direction? Well you will continue to be lost and will be actively choosing to head in another direction. You won’t get home. When it comes to eternal life and knowing God, Jesus declares Himself as that signpost. “You want to know God? Look to me.”. Man knows God by looking to Jesus and therefore to know Jesus is to have an active relationship with our Creator, it is to know God. Jesus isn’t an additional signpost for us to consider alongside Judaism or Islam, no! He is the only one to consider and the sole provision of eternal life.
Follow the signpost.
As part of the ‘Quick Thought’ category, the above can be used as an outline of a conversation or talk to be used in an Evangelistic opportunity.