I think often of the passage, I AM the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). I have often seen this used as the passage that says if you don’t know Jesus you don’t know God. I suspect there are many who don’t know Jesus and do know God. This is a passage about knowing God as Father. Richard Rohr says this passage is about Jesus saying he is the way and I am not. What occurs to me now is if Jesus points us to the Father, to God, does he remain? Jesus for me is getting out of the way and letting me see God as my everything. A prophet always points to God and never to themselves (though I know some would argue Jesus is much more than a prophet.)
God is in the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Jew, the Muslim, many others who know there is a greater power but don’t see a trinity as God, yet with many manifestations that lead to the one true God. If there is only one way to God, why would God wait for thousands of years to make that way known. I think the message of Jesus is an awesome message and if I could follow it completely I would be the best version of myself that I could be. Everything Jesus said and did is a witness to how to live, saying to me, live as I live and you will be happy, joyous and free.
This morning I was called to focus on the reading from Matthew 13:10-17 and preachers speaking on this passage might point to hearing and blessedness. Blessed are those who see and hear. Interestingly, Jesus is speaking about speaking in parables. He has told the parable of the sower to a large crowd. What falls on rich soil will produce fruit, a hundred, sixty or thirty fold. This is the Word of God. When we hear it, really hear it them what we do will it will bear fruit.
Is the Word of Jesus attractive in the world today? Many listen but do not hear. If it was attractive then people would be attracted to people who speak the Word, or live the Word. The movement of Jesus began through attraction. There was something special about those who proclaimed Jesus Words, and lived the message Jesus lived. It is not easy to see the attractiveness of Jesus everywhere. There is lots of fear and division.
Even in our churches if you don’t do or say the right thing you are looked down upon. Sometimes even doing the right thing isn’t welcome. Churches don’t like a stand out. If you want to feed the hungry, and the hungry need a shower, or aren’t dressed appropriately, or they have many needs, and make their presence uncomfortable, there is a good chance rejection with be the norm.
In many ways Jesus was a rebel, a radical, seemingly his primary acts around the temple are a message that the temple is not okay, the leaders are not good leaders. Yet, today when we look around we just see more temples, more idols, more important places that exists to honor God with their presence, but those hungry, needy, ill, in prison, thirsty and poor are not seen, or rather not noticed and not helped. Should the people be more more important that the places?