Two men went to a train station with their friend. They arrived early and the train was late, so they sat down for a cup of coffee. They talked and drank coffee and entirely forgot both time and the train. All at once they heard the final boarding announcement for the departing train. All three got up and ran toward the train as it left the station. Two of the men were able to catch the last car and jump aboard, but the third man didn’t make it. He stopped running and began laughing. An onlooker asked the man, “Why are you laughing? You’ve missed your train!” He replied, “Yes, I did. But what is so funny is that the two guys who got on the train came to see me off!”
Whether the foregoing is factual or not, I don’t know, but either way it portrays a significant lesson. It is imperative that we know where we are going and how to get there.
Jesus knew that people lacked a sense of direction. As He traveled the countryside teaching the good news of the kingdom He was touched by and concerned about their lack of direction. Matthew 9:36 says, “What pity He felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.” In the following two verses He encouraged His disciples to pray that workers would be sent into the field of lost people to help them find their way.
Later, in the very familiar passage of John 14:1-6, Jesus unfolded more information to His disciples on the matter of knowing where they are going and how to get there. Apparently, though they had been under His teaching for some time at this point, their understanding was superficial at best.
After telling them that He was going on ahead to prepare a place for them, Thomas said, “We haven’t any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Then Philip added, “…show us the Father and we will be satisfied.”
In response, Jesus made His well known, much quoted and exclusive comment. He firmly stated, “I am the Way—yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
So…this life is about getting ready for the next one! And how do we do that? One hint – it is more about Who you know, than what you know.
“Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent” (John 17:3).
FAITH & REFLECTION