We Know the Way
Monday of Pentecost 15
18 September 2017
The blessed dead now sees Jesus face-to-face (1Co 13:12), because they trusted Christ. By believing in him they have all the benefits of his kingdom. They have been brought into the kingdom through the washing of water with the word (Eph 5:26). They have been baptized into Christ. How comforting to know that the Almighty God had laid His claim on our dead (and us!) long ago! Jesus says to you, "Let not your hearts be troubled" (Jn 14:1)! Our hearts are at peace because Christ has redeemed us and those who have gone before us into death.

The Christian faith pivots on the person and work of Christ. It doesn't depend on us. Go figure! That's why it's called Christianity. It is a religion about Christ. It is not a religion about us. The blessed dead believed that. The blessed dead believed Christ. They know her status in God's sight was long ago assured in the person of Christ. That's one of the reasons we don't evaluate the moral quality of their life, because they believed that their relationship with their heavenly father was long ago taken care of by Christ her Lord. They gave their lives up in service to the neighbor generously, but imperfectly. Their status in God's sight has long ago been settled in Christ. It wasn't up to them. And it never would be. They know the way because the way is Christ.

They believe what Jesus says here: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me" (Jn 14:1). For Christians, to believe in Christ is to believe in God. To believe in God is to believe in Christ. The blessed dead know the way and what is there when they arrive. Our heavenly home belongs to our heavenly Father. There are plenty of rooms. He never puts out a "No Vacancy" sign. There are no barriers to heaven, except the ones we ourselves throw up by not knowing the way, who is Christ himself, and by not trusting in him for salvation.

There is only one house. It belongs to the Father. We are house guests in the mansion of our Father. The house belongs to him, but he gives entry into it generously. And he has a place for all sinners, sinners like us, who know our Father as the God who forgives sinners like us. Our Lord Jesus says to sinners like us, "I have come to seek and to save the lost" (Lk 19:10). And in seeking and saving the lost he places them on the way to eternal life.

Jesus is a truth teller. He would not mislead us and indeed, because he is God, he cannot. He promises here so beautifully a place for us. If there weren't plenty of places of abiding for those who believe in Him, Jesus would have told us. We know the way, because Christ promised us.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Martin Luther

"Christians should know of the many abodes for them with the Father (Jn 14:2-3). These He contrasts with other houses or dwellings as if He were saying: 'Here on earth you will not have many houses or a definite dwelling; for here the devil rules, here he resides, here he is lord, here he is at home. And since you contend against him and his realm, he will not permit you to dwell and lodge here very long. For in accord with the title given to him everywhere in Scripture, he is a liar and a murderer (Jn 8:44). It is also apparent in the world that his reign embraces only these two activities: he misleads people with false doctrines and ideas, thereby defrauding them of their souls; and he fills everything with murder, war, and all sorts of misfortune and grief, as though he had nothing else to do than to kill men both physically and spiritually. This is his nature and office, and this and nothing else we must expect of him as long as we dwell here on his property. But be undaunted; nothing will harm you. If you cannot have house and home here, if the devil and his tyrants chase you out of the world, you shall nevertheless have ample room for your residence. If they will not put up with you as citizens and neighbors, or even as guests, if they alone keep the world, let them have it. Rest assured that you will still have room and plenty of it.'"

Martin Luther, Sermons on John, 14.2-4
John 14:1-6

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (ESV)
Lord Jesus, You have said to us 'Don't be afraid.' Let us be undaunted; confident nothing will harm us. We do not fear the devil and his tyrants as they chase us out of the world, but You have promised that there is ample room for our residence with Your Father. On the basis of your word, let us rest assured that you will still have room and plenty of it for us. Amen.

For all those who are suffering losses as a result of the flooding in Houston and SE Texas, that the Lord would assure them that they have a home in heaven

For Susan Narr, who is undergoing therapy for cancer, that the Lord Jesus would strengthen her in body and soul

For the family of Brenda Blackwell, whom the Lord took from this valley of sorrows, that they would have courage to confess the power of Christ over death
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2017
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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