Thursday, March 11, 2021
“How many times do I have to tell you?”
“Why don’t you ever listen to me?”
I wonder how many times I was asked those questions as a kid? I’m sure it was a lot, and I’m sure it was deserved.
When we are given information, we process it quickly through self-defined filters. There’s the filter of value, where we assign a level of importance to what we are hearing. There’s also the filter of context, where we interpret what is being said through our experiences and preferences.
Such was the case with the disciples. Jesus had been consistently telling them that He was leaving them to return to the Father. Now, in the current conversation, Jesus tells them again that He is returning to the Father to prepare a place for them to join Him later. Jesus then tells them that they should know the way to where He is going.
John 14:4 “And you know the way to where I am going.”
One of the disciples, Thomas, speaks up on behalf of all of them.
John 14:5 “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
It is obvious that what Jesus has been teaching them has been interpreted through a context filter. The disciples have not yet understood the mission or the message of Jesus in spiritual terms, but only in a physical context that had immediate application. The disciples understood what Jesus said in terms of a personal trip He would take to a physical location. Since they had not been told the destination, they also question the way to get there.
How often do we interpret what Jesus said in physical terms only, and thereby limit its application to the context of the immediate?
Jesus, with great patience and grace, simply provides the answer. He does not show frustration. He does not ask them why they haven’t listened. He simply helps them to understand that He is going to His Father, and that He is the Way for them to get to the same destination.
This Sunday is my birthday, and I am going on a short trip to celebrate with certain friends. I know where I am going. I know the way. I’m not telling you. I don’t want you to come with me. Nothing personal. Don’t be offended. It’s simply my time away.
Jesus told the disciples where He was going. He was showing them the way to get there. He gave them specific instructions. Follow me because I am the Way. Believe me for I am the Truth. Abide in me for I am the Life. Jesus did not go away and leave us to question where He went and why we didn’t get invited. He made it possible for us to make the same trip, and He invites you to start the journey with Him.
P.S. LifeLink Devotionals will return on Tuesday, March 16.