Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way…” (John 14:5-6)
I was hiking with some friends in the Tennessee Mountains. As we came to a bend in the trail, we began to hear someone in great distress. At first, we couldn’t make out the words, but then we did: “Get me out of here. I can’t do this. Help me.”
We soon came upon a rope course on the side of a cliff. One of the students was stuck about ten yards from the top. He was paralyzed with fear. He couldn’t go up. He couldn’t go down.
One of the instructors was at the top of the cliff. He was lying down and had put his head over the side so that he and the man were looking directly at each other.
We heard the instructor say, “There’s no way out of this. There’s only a way through. Listen to my voice. Stay focused on my face. Trust your grip.”
The instructor kept on giving this encouragement until the man began to inch up the cliffside. When he finally got to the top, the other students and all those who had been watching this tense drama cheered.
“There’s no way out of this.” True words for cliffsides and for life. There’s no way out of pain, disappointments, failures, losses, worries, anxieties, and betrayals.
In today’s scripture, Thomas tells Jesus that he doesn’t know the way where Jesus is going. Jesus tells him—and Jesus tells us—that He’s the Way. Jesus is the Way through whatever we need to get through in this life, and He’s also the Way into the next.
How can we know that Jesus is the Way? Do you remember how the rope instructor encouraged the stuck student? “Listen to my voice. Stay focused on my face. Trust your grip.”
Jesus, our Instructor, encourages us with the same message. “Listen to me. Stay focused on my face. Trust my grip. I’ll not let you go.”
- Have you ever been paralyzed by fear? If so, what were the circumstances? What did it take for you to begin moving again?
- How is Jesus “the way” for you? The way to what? The way from what? The way for what?
- I have a friend who ends his correspondence by signing off in this way: “In His grip.” I used to think that phrase was a bit too clever until I found myself in a dark place, and then the words really spoke to me. Does the phrase—In His grip—speak to you?