Thursday, October 19, 2017

John 14:4-6 -- On Knowing The Way

"And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:4-6

This is an interesting passage in the New Testament where Christ is talking about his coming death, but as with most things that he taught there were layered meanings--part literal, and part symbolic and spiritual.  This particular passage stood out to me because I think that it echoes something that we experience frequently.  We read a statement from God that we know something or have the knowledge or ability to make the right choices (for instance when the scriptures say that the spirit of Christ is given to every man and that we know the way to judge, or when God asks us to follow *any* of the commandments, and tells us that we can, or when God helped Nephi to know that the Lord doesn't give us commandments without providing a way for us to follow them), and our immediate gut response (here played by Thomas) to deny that, and say "Wait, wait... no we don't.  What?"

Here, Christ tells his disciples that they know where he is going, and how to get there.  And Thomas is like "Um... no."  And Christ, gently, reminds him of what all of this is about, subtly reminding him that he needs to think about it more, and not just assume that he doesn't have enough information.  He was going to the Father, and he had taught his disciples to follow him so that they could also return.

Today, I think the lesson to learn is perhaps to take a step back and think about it when God tells us something or tells us that we have some ability or power that we don't feel or understand.  Just like Elisha's servant could not see the Chariots of Fire, we can't always even see the reality of our own goodness and spiritual power.  God gives us many unseen gifts, and we have to trust him, and have faith in his word to us, that we *are* powerful enough to face and overcome the challenges before us--not just in external things, but in internal things as well.  We have to have faith that when he tells us that we know, that we *do* know the way, and how to accomplish what he asks.  It might take some work, and some study, and starting slowly.  Maybe we only know how to begin... but God *always* gives us the way to get there--to work our way back to him.  Let's trust God, and exercise our power to be good and to do good.

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