“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” — Billy Sunday
Jesus spent three years preaching, teaching, and healing people throughout the regions of Galilee, Samaria, and Judea. While withdrawing from the public during the last week of his life, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with those he loved. During this meal, he told them that he would be betrayed and killed. Seeing that they were visibly troubled, Jesus comforted them by saying, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. … You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).
Perplexed with this comment, they questioned, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” He replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:5-21). With these powerful words, Jesus proclaimed to them that he was the way to salvation.
After the resurrection, his followers were called a variety of names. The most common designation was “the followers of the way of the Lord.” /1 This phrase was often shortened to, the Way (Acts 24:22). When persecuted in Jerusalem, many of the Way left this holy city. Some were tracked down and killed. Yet, while being pursued, the Way continued to share the holy story of the way (Acts 9:1-4; Acts 22:3-5; Matthew 7:13-20)./2
Where are you going? Are you lost? Take a look at the way (Psalm 119:105). Christian, are you up for the task?
“The way of the cross leads home.”
— Jesse Brown Pounds
1/ The term “Christian” was used later (Acts 11:26).
2/ When Saul became part of “the Way”, he was persecuted by Judaizers (Acts 19:8-10; Acts 19:23). Saul is a common Hebrew name. While preaching to the Gentiles, he went by the Greek name of Paul (Acts 13:9).
Jesus invites us to follow him.