George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
The Way, the Truth, the Life
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life--Joh 14:6
Love Prepares a Welcome
No one was more ready than Jesus to detect the anxieties of those He loved. We picture Him, as He taught the twelve, watching intently the expression on their faces to learn how far His words were understood. Jesus had noted, then, tokens of heart distress (Joh 14:1). The disciples felt His departure like a torture. And it was then that He consoled them with such simple and glorious speech that all Christendom is the debtor to their agony. They thought that His death was an unforeseen calamity. Christ taught them it was the path of His own planning. They thought that heaven was very far away. Christ taught them it was but another room in the great home of whose many mansions this beautiful world was one. He was not stepping out into the dark. He was passing from one room to another in the house. But the mightiest encouragement of all came when He told them, "I go to prepare a place for you." This, then, was the purpose of His going, that love might have all things ready when they arrived. When a child is born here, love has all things ready for it. It will be the same when we awaken in eternity. When a boy or girl comes home from the boarding-school, has not some heart at home been busy in preparation? There is someone at the station, and the bedroom is arranged, and the lights are lit, and the table is spread, and all day there has been happy excitement in the home because James or Mary is coming home tonight. So Jesus says, "I go to prepare a place for you. I go to have all things ready for your coming." And though there are depths in these words we cannot fathom and mysteries we cannot understand, they mean at least that love is getting ready to give the children a real welcome home.
For Wanderers in the Night: I Am the Way
Then Jesus utters the Via Veritas Vita: and first of all He says, "I am the way." It was the very word that the disciples wanted, for they all felt like wanderers that night. Do you know what it is like to lose the road? Did you ever, when out walking across the fields, find the track through the heather grow faint and disappear? There was a helplessness like that in the disciples when Jesus announced that He was soon to leave them. So far, they had all walked with Jesus. Now, at the cross, that pathway seemed to cease. We can hardly grasp the depth of comfort in it when they heard that Christ was to be the Way forevermore. It was in Him they were to fight and conquer. It was in Him they were to live and die. It was in Him they were to reach the glory and stand in the presence of the Father at the end. They felt there was a new and living way. Among the wonders of the old Roman people were the roads they made from end to end of Europe. And the Roman cities are in ruins now, and their palaces and their temples are destroyed, but men are still walking on the Roman roads. So Jesus, our Redeemer, is still the Way. A thousand things have gone, but that remains. It is through His death, and His rising from the dead, and through our daily fellowship with Him that we walk heavenward and reach home at last.
He Is the Truth That Sheds Light on Darkness
Then Jesus says, "I am the truth." He does not say, observe, I speak the truth. There was a deeper meaning in His mind than that. I hope that every child will speak the truth; yet every child, as his experience grows, will discover with shame how untrue he is at heart. Christ is the sum and center of all truth. Where Christ is not, there is a false note always. And one of the great joys of knowing Jesus is the sweet assurance that truth is ours at last. Before the discovery of the law of gravitation, there were a thousand facts that no man could explain. There was no key to them. There was no plan in them. They could never be gathered into a worthy system. But when the great truth of gravitation was discovered--so simple, so universal, so sublime--a flood of light fell on the darkness, and disorder became order everywhere. And it is just so when we discover Jesus. That truth sheds light upon a thousand facts. Things that were quite inexplicable once--sorrows and joys and hopes and fears and haunting--become intelligible through this great discovery. Did not some one say that if you would find the truth you must seek for it at the bottom of a deep well? The glory of the truth that is in Jesus is that it is found in no dark well, but on the way. Quid est veritas? asked jesting Pilate. And in one of the best anagrams the world has ever had, the answer is given, Est vir qui adest.
He Is the Source of Life
Then lastly Jesus says, "I am the life." In Thackeray's great story, Vanity Fair, we read of Amelia Osborne and her baby George. And Thackeray, speaking of the baby, says, "How his mother nursed him and dressed him and lived upon him need not be told here. This child was her being." That is a little picture of the way in which one person can be the life of another. It helps us to understand what Jesus meant when He said to the disciples, "I am the life." There is no book in any literature so filled with the message of life as the New Testament. If there is one word that sums up the Gospel, it is life. And here we are taught that that life is in Jesus Christ. He is the source of it. It is treasured in Him. And there is no way to gain it and to keep it but by trusting and by loving Him.
I cannot solve mysterious things,
That fill the schoolmen's thoughts with strife;
But oh! what peace this knowledge brings--
Thou art the Life!
Hid in thy everlasting deeps,
The silent God His secret keeps.
The Way, the Truth, the Life, Thou art!
This, this I know; to this I cleave;
The sweet, new language of my heart--
"Lord, I believe."
I have no doubt to bring to Thee;
My doubt has fled, my faith is free!
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