By Chuck Williams
Interim Pastor, First Baptist Church, Milan
One of the most popular performances at a circus is the flying trapeze. As the daredevils swing and turn through the air into the arms of the ‘catcher’ the crowd wonders, “Will they slip and fall to the ground?” Why is the ‘flyer’ willing to do such a dangerous act? Answer: The flyer trusts the catcher to hold him in his grip.
In these verses, in essence, Jesus is saying to His perplexed disciples, “I know what I am telling you is difficult to comprehend, but trust Me, I have a grip on this.”
Even our best promises can falter and fail. Jesus had said, “You can’t go where I am going.” Peter, full of emotional fervor, boasted, “I will lay down my life for your sake.” But the Lord knew Peter better than Peter knew Peter. Peter had always been there with Him and for Him, but He also knew Peter was making a promise he couldn’t keep.
Who of us hasn’t made the Lord a promise and then later backed out on it? The inconvenience or stress of it was more than we bargained for. Thankfully, Jesus is a wonderful Savior who forgives.
His prophecy about Peter’s promise was startling when He said, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” Cockcrow was the third of the fourth Roman night watches, midway between midnight and dawn.
All promises made to the Lord have to go through a ‘stress test’ so that we can see how firmly we, like the trapeze artist, are safely in His Grip. He has never dropped anyone, nor will He ever.
Jesus then gives them words of reassurance. These words are “Promises made and promises kept.”
A place prepared for all the redeemed. The word “prepared” is the Greek word “hetoymos” which means “made ready, fit, alive or adjusted.” Aren’t we all glad He will someday “adjust” our body into a glorified one so we can rejoice in what He has prepared?!
He then gives confidence for their present needs. Verse 6 is the sixth of the seven “I AM” statements. He is the Way to some sounds exclusive. Is this true? Absolutely. Jesus being the Way to the Father is exclusive to all who receive Him.
Someone has rightly said, “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but most want to go on their own terms.”
He also said He was the Truth. At first this statement appears to be dogmatic, but truth is always intolerant of what is untrue. What the world calls misinformation, often God calls a lie. Appealing to emotion people will say “But the person is so sincere in what they believe.” If their belief is outside of Jesus and the Holy Bible, then they are sincerely wrong.
Jesus then boldly proclaims, “I am the Life” which is the Greek word “zoe.” Jesus is all about making dead souls come alive. Without Him we are “dead men walking.” With Him we are like a butterfly set free from its chrysalis.
He is everything we need and the One we can truly trust. “Without the Way, there is no going. Without the Truth there is no knowing. Without the Life, there is no living” — Thomas A. Kempis 1380-1471.