We are very familiar with the concept of Jesus as “The Way.” Jesus is the Way to God. He is the Way to Heaven. He is the Way to peace and forgiveness and wholeness. He is the Way to eternal life. As disciples of Jesus we walk in his Way, the Way. We recognize all this. We understand it. We get it.
But do we also see that Jesus is God’s Way to us?
It’s a two-way Way.
And I appreciate the Christmas season because it reminds us — it forces us — to reflect again on the Incarnation of the Christ. The way we come to God is the same way God comes to us. God comes to us in his Son, Jesus. Eugene Peterson, in his latest book The Jesus Way, writes:
“God comes to us in Jesus speaking the words of salvation, healing our infirmities, promising the Holy Spirit, teaching us how to live in the Kingdom of God. It is in and through this same Jesus that we pray to and believe, hear and obey, love and praise God. Jesus is the way God comes to us. Jesus is the way we come to God. The way up and the way down is the same way.”
We often ask, and rightly so, what would Jesus do? But at the same time, we should also ask what is God doing? Jesus is God in action. Jesus is God speaking. Jesus is God touching lepers. Jesus is God forgiving a condemned and dying criminal on a cross and an adulterous woman threatened by men holding rocks. Jesus is God blessing children. Jesus is God giving sight to Bartimaeus and life to Lazarus. Jesus is God restoring peace to the demon-possessed. Jesus is God feeding the hungry. Jesus is God calling down judgment on religious posturing. Jesus is God weeping over the city.
Walking in the Way requires doing what Jesus did—love, service, sacrifice. But it also means jumping in to join what God is doing—saving, redeeming, reconciling, forgiving.
Jesus is the Way. The two-way Way.
As an exercise look up all the different definitions of the word “way” and every one of them fits.
Some people may ask it, but do they really want to know what Jesus would do? It’s probably messy, dirty, edge work. You can wear all the wrist bands and put bumper stickers and fish emblems on cars that you want. Maybe somebody really makes a decision based on seeing WWJD. If it works, then great yet my guess is that most people are just taking a knee and running out the clock.
Expanding on the definition thing. “Way” means “direction” as in “go this way” or “do it that way”.
It also means “mannerism” as in “the way he is”.
A lot of our soulutions , misspelled on purpose, would be easier to find if we asked “What would Jesus NOT have done?” in the first place.
Allright, Mel. You have to elaborate on that. I don’t know what that means.
But your definitions of “way,” especially as they relate to direction—‘go this way’ or ‘do it this way’—remind me of the opening passages of Peterson’s book I’m still right in the middle of reading. “Way” does imply “means,” a way of doing something. I wrote about this back in the middle of October. You can check it out here:
Too often, when I find myself seeking the “way” of Jesus by asking WWJD, it’s because I’ve gotten myself into a situation that I wasn’t led into by Jesus in the first place.
The way of Jesus is more about what we should be and less about what we should do.
Got it. Although, what we are is certainly manifested in what we do. By their fruits…What’s in the heart comes out of the mouth…It certainly all works together. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus clearly is attacking an external, Law-keeping way of righteousness and showing us the true righteousness that comes from a changed heart. But the actions he prescribes and the commands he gives and the Law he upholds—every jot and tittle—are a paramount element in walking in The Way.
Right…yet none of us can “do” every jot and tittle. Even pagans “do” and even if you give up to a tenth of your spices if it hasn’t made it’s way into your heart it’s for nothing.