I’ve been reading Eugene Peterson’s book ‘The Jesus Way’. I love his observation that Jesus is not only the way to God, but Jesus is God’s way to us. Here are some things Peterson says in the book:
“Jesus tells us what God is doing. He is God in action. Jesus is God touching lepers. Jesus is God forgiving a condemned and dying criminal and an adulterous woman hounded by men holding rocks and poised to kill her. Jesus is God blessing children. Jesus is God calling down judgment on religious posturing. Jesus is God weeping over Jerusalem…Jesus is the way we come to God and the way God comes to us. It’s a two lane road where both lanes have to be kept open.”
Jesus says in scripture that he is the Way. Most of my life I have basically heard that phrase quoted from scripture then used to tell everyone how Jesus is the only way to be saved and everyone else will burn in hell. I think there is something much deeper to that phrase though and Peterson does a masterful job of bringing it out. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “If you want to know God, live this way. If you want God to know you , live this way”
The Jesus Way is not about the end and where you are heading. It is about how you are walking. The Jesus Way is not a simple prayer asking Jesus into your heart. To my knowledge, Jesus never led anyone in that prayer, nor did anyone else in scripture. Jesus did however teach us to pray and it is a Way of praying that leads us to walk in The Way. It’s about finding the destination while you are on the journey. You find God on The Way as you stop to give a compassionate hug to a leper who has had no human contact in years. You find God on The Way when you share your food with those who have none. You find God on The Way when you speak words of love to people who only know hate. It is in these places that God also finds you. Heaven is the end, but you find it on The Way. If heaven hasn’t been found on The Way then won’t we miss out on heaven in the end?