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Go down to the tall oak tree by the white corner post with the pigs in the field to get to her house.

When I was driving the big rigs across country, there were times I had to stop and ask for directions.

Mind you, this was in the days before smart phones with GPS.

The Rand-McNally road maps book was our constant companion.

However, there was not always a city map for every place we might have to go.

Once in a small town I needed to find US Hwy 1, because the normal signs of direction were not visible to me.

Maybe they weren’t even there.

I stopped and asked a policeman how I could get to the highway, and he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

I parked my rig, got out and started going into the different stores trying to get help.

I finally asked one person which road did they take to the next town, and discovered it was Broadway.

I got directions, found Broadway, headed out of town and less than a mile from the city limits found a sign for US Hwy 1.

I’ve never quite figured out what to make of that experience.

I guess the folks I asked that day never paid too much attention to their surroundings.

They were probably the type that knew you went down to the tall oak tree by the white corner post with the pigs in the field to get to a certain place.

They knew the way, but they would be hard-pressed to explain to anyone from outside the community how to get there.

That may be sort of what Thomas felt when Jesus said He was going away and they should know how to get to where He was going.

Thomas said to him,
“Lord, we do not know where you are going.
How can we know the way?”
Jn 14:5

Thomas was obviously confused and was asking Jesus to help straighten him out.

Jesus, in His usual enigmatic style, first told him the way and then where He was going—but not with plain statements for location or method.

Jesus said to him,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jn 14:6

Jesus said He was going to the Father and that He was the way to get there.

That was not a lot of help for poor old Thomas, because he was still thinking Jesus was going somewhere like the grocery store on the corner.

Until we can shift from our natural thinking and orientation, we will miss many of the truths of Scripture which are only spiritually understood.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God,
for they are folly to him,
and he is not able to understand them
because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:14

Have you ever noticed that for any single verse or concept of Scripture there is a plethora of different interpretations?

Why is that?

One of the most obvious reasons is the number of people who only take the English language translation they use.

We have found in our Thursday Bible studies that there are differences in the various translations, and some of those differences are significant.

We occasionally find the difference to render a completely different understanding of the verse in question.

Just with that fact alone we can see that there will be different interpretations.

Add to that our varying levels of education and you now have another variable thrown into the mix.

Some have a broad vocabulary coupled with an array of meanings for a single word.

Others have a limited vocabulary coupled with only one or two different meanings for words.

Then also within the realm of language and interpretation of the Bible, we have those who claim to go back to the original language.

The OT was written in Hebrew and the NT written in Greek.

Many claim that Jesus only spoke Aramaic and so they go with a translation from the Peshitta manuscripts.

What people fail to realize is that we have no such thing as the original manuscripts.

They are no longer with us.

As for me, I know next to nothing from the Hebrew and I know just enough Greek to be dangerous.

So….what are to do?

How can we make sense of all this, all the various interpretations from a multitude of sources?

Fortunately, we are not left to our own devices.

Jesus said,

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth,
for he will not speak on his own authority,
but whatever he hears he will speak,
and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
Jn 16:13

Paul tells us that the things of God are spiritually discerned and understood.

Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth.

He also tells us that we will be guided into all truth.

I stand on that.

You can stand on that promise.

You can be sure that the Holy Spirit who dwells within you will guide you into the truth.

Now, that should bring up an obvious question.

If the Holy Spirit guides us all, then why do we still have so many differences?

Good question, and I am not sure that I have a satisfactory answer.

However, I recognize from my study of the Bible and observing my own life that truth emerges at different levels in different seasons for different reasons.

What that means is that the truth which is real for you at this time in your life is exactly the truth you need at this time.

When we can make this a central truth for ourselves, we will be less likely to judge or criticize others for being, thinking or doing differently.

Another question—what about those outside the pale of Christianity, those who follow a religion not even remotely associated with Christianity?

What about Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans and other so-called pagans?

Are they on the right path?

I asked this question in my religion class during the junior year of high school.

As Catholics of that time, we understood that anyone who was not a Catholic had little chance of being saved.

And just so you know, there are many other Christian denominations who still believe the same thing.

Father Friend, a Jew who had converted to Catholicism, was teaching this class of young Catholics about to be launched into the world.

He quoted Jesus to indicate that there was a distinct possibility of their salvation.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matt 5:8

Jesus gave no qualifications to this statement, no additional requirements.

Neither did Father Friend.

He didn’t say, “Blessed are the pure in heart as long as they believe, say, think or do this or that.”


Just the plain statement of being pure in heart.

Now—how do I know if my Buddhist friends are pure in heart?

I don’t.

God does, but not me.

That is not for me to know.

It is not for you to know, either.

But, if Jesus is the only way to the Father, shouldn’t we be concerned and tell our friends that the path they are on is wrong?

Shouldn’t we tell them that what they are seeking can only be found in Christ?

I met a man who was dying from an overdose of heroin when he called out to the Lord to save him.

He was saved while on drugs.

Does that mean that drugs are a legitimate path for finding the Lord?

No. Of course not.

But it was the path he was on when the Lord met him.

What about the apostle Paul?

He was persecuting Christians out of a zeal for God and his tradition.

He was sincere.

His heart apparently was pure—though not in the way we ordinarily describe purity of heart.

Does that mean that the legalistic system of Judaism aimed only at pleasing God is a legitimate path for finding God?

No. Of course not.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life which people seek regardless of the means they may choose.

The truth I am trying to share with you today is for your benefit and comfort.

It is not to open a broad way for anyone to choose whatever path they want.

I want you to realize that your concern for your friends who may not be following the same path as you need not be a cause for worry.

Let us not be overly concerned about what we see in the natural.

Let us focus our minds and hearts on the truth we see in Scripture.

At this point in their life they may not be able to know the way.

They may not even know where they are trying to go.

They may be like Thomas walking this earth without a clue even when it is standing right in front of them.

But, we have this truth to rest our minds and reassure our heart about our neighbors, our friends and our family who may be outside what we know to be the reality.

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
Jn 12:32

No one can come to the Father but through Jesus, and He will make sure that happens for your loved ones.

So, be encouraged.

They are not going to be lost for all eternity.

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