Jesus IS the WAY

Eyewitness: pp. 224,225
Eyewitness Stories: John 13:33-14:11
New Living Translation: John 13:33-14:11
In Your Bible: John 13:33-14:11

The time had come, Jesus told the disciples he was leaving and wouldn’t be with them much longer. He gave the disciples a new commandment – love one another. When two disciples, Peter and Philip, questioned Jesus pointedly about his going away, he answered in-directly and then directly. Jesus IS the WAY.

Going to Leave Them

For about three years Jesus taught and worked with the disciples he chose. Yet they were still unsure of who he was. During the last days before his crucifixion he had to reassure what they did know about him. “My students,” Jesus said “I cannot be with you much longer” (John 13:33a Eyewitness Stories).

Then the robust disciple Peter, asked “Sir where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I go you cannot follow. But you will later” (John 13:36,37 Eyewitness Stories).

Know Me

Jesus tries to quell their disappointment by saying he’d already prepared a place for them, and they knew the way. But Thomas boldly admitted his feelings. “No we don’t,” Thomas said. “Sir, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way”? (John 14:5 Eyewitness Stories).

Jesus told them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you really have known me, you will know who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him” (John 14:6,7 New Living Translation). No argument about it, Jesus IS the WAY.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your Son who leads us into your loving hands.

Questions: When did you stop questioning that Jesus is the ONLY WAY to the Father? How did that understanding strengthen your faith and your witness?

Jesus Did Odd Things

Jesus said, “You are about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him [Lazarus]” (THE MESSAGE John 11:15).

THE MESSAGE: John 11:1-48
In Your Bible: John 11:1-48

Jesus was beyond the Jordan

Jesus was beyond the Jordan

Only a few times does the Bible mention how much Jesus loved friends. Lazarus was one of them. He lived in Bethany, where his sisters Mary and Martha also lived. Jesus was teaching on the other side of the Jordan, when he heard Lazarus was sick.

New Reasons For Believing

He said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son”…but oddly, when he heard Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. After two days, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea” (THE MESSAGE John 11:4-7).

Here THE MESSAGE brings out Jesus’ emotions better than most versions. The disciples thought Lazarus was asleep. Then Jesus became explicit – “Lazarus died! I’m glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You are about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him” (THE MESSAGE John 11:14,15).

When Jesus finally got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. They had already prepared his body and taken it to the grave. Martha said, “Master if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know whatever you ask God he will give you” (THE MESSAGE John 11:21,22). She thought it was more than odd that he took so long to arrive after getting word. She was distraught.

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life

Lazarus' Tomb

Lazarus’ Tomb

Jesus replied to Martha, ….“I am, right now, the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all….” (THE MESSAGE John 11:25,26).

Mary came to Jesus and fell at his feet weeping. The Jews with her were also weeping. Jesus wept too. Jesus heard the crowd say he’d done many miracles for others. Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of the blind man.” This made Jesus angry, then he said, “Remove the stone” (THE MESSAGE John 11:38).

Note: Of the forty-six Bible versions I checked (, only THE MESSAGE, Living Bible, and Eyewitness used the strong word angry for Jesus emotions toward the crowd and their comments at the tomb of Lazarus.

Thinking logically, the sister of Lazarus, Martha said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench, he’s been dead four days.”

Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God? Go ahead and take away the stone” (THE MESSAGE John 11:39-41).

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here, I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me” (The Message John 11:41,42).

Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out (THE MESSAGE John 11:43,44). The only thing left to do was unwrap him. Glory!

Application: Jesus knew his task was to bring God glory. He made sure all knew Lazarus was dead. This odd act of waiting successfully challenged unbelief of all who were present. God got the glory in raising Lazarus to life.

Prayer: Father, help me see your desire in things around me. Show me how to take action and be your instrument to meet needs of people around me.

Question: Why do we balk when we know God shows us to do something odd…. Something that would make us look awkward or maybe even foolish? If God directs us to do or say anything, why don’t we do it?

Map from: Baker’s Bible Atlas, Charles F. Pfeiffer, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1961,1973,1979, p.190.

Picture from: Tomb of Lazarus from The Holy Land, Plurigraf-Narni-Terni, Riproduzion Vietata, Finito di stampede, bel febbraio, 1975.