Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:5-6
Nearly every Christian will have interacted with this passage on some level by the time this is written. What more can be said about this most definitive statement? The complete theology of the book of John is summarized in 14:6 where it serves also to challenge the modern feel-good canard of ‘many paths to God.’ Less discussed is the context of the farewell discourse and, in particular here, the continued lack of understanding that the disciples displayed. These were the men closest to Him, to whom Jesus had shared the greatest intimacy and still they failed to comprehend the trajectory of the Savior’s life as it hurtled toward the cross.
In many ways, our spiritual formation is challenged in the same fashion. We know Jesus intellectually and have the benefit of knowing the full story and yet, it can sometimes be said that we don’t know Him. As we meditate deeply on the details of Jesus, we are seeing the Truth, the ultimate revelation of God, in a form which we can relate to. Transformation comes in challenging our own flawed character to the Truth that we encounter. Christians are privileged in having the indwelling Spirit to leads us in the Life but we must encounter Him beyond the intellectual level. Perhaps the first step is to admit ‘we don’t know where you’re going’ and then follow Him anyway despite our urge to do the opposite.