Jesus once declared to Thomas, His disciple, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6). This statement has been a source of offense for many people. For anyone to declare that outside of Himself, mankind would be lost forever is both a bold and cutting claim. If this claim was a lie, then Jesus would have been nothing more than a crazy man. However, if this claim was true, then all the peoples of the earth are forced to make a decision: look to Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life, or reject Him and be lost forever. Jesus was telling Thomas that he could search the world over and never find life outside of Himself. He could experiment, he could indulge, he could even run and hide. But, apart from “the Life,” Thomas’ life would end in a desert of futility.
I expect the Gospel to be foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18). Those who are perishing will find Jesus to be nothing more than a bloody martyr on a Roman cross. And until the Father draws them with that effectual call, Jesus will always be foolish to them. But, what about those many today in the Christian church that have seen Jesus as who He claimed to be, but then still run off and search for life elsewhere? As a pastor, I have seen this time and time again. Is the darkness so intriguing? Does the world’s false image of “life” draw so strongly that Jesus becomes merely a religious symbol? Why do so many who have declared Jesus to be their God turn away to set up graven images of self-pleasure, hoped-for success, and personal comfort?
My thought is, the god of this age is good at what he does (2 Corinthians 4:4). See, Satan cannot hide the Light of Life. But he certainly can blind the eyes of man. We humans are so fickle and so dissatisfied with awesomeness, that we continue our search even after we have found that only truly Awesome Delight. Satan indeed works to blind and deceive – and he works especially hard to incite dissatisfaction in the hearts of believers.
I remember a time where, I too, was once drawn away by Satan’s lie. There was a time in my young life where Christ, the only truly awesome, awe-filled delight, began to look mediocre. My enemy had deceived me into thinking that the darkness was more fulfilling, and I groped about in the darkness for a time. But then, the Way began to shine into my darkness. This light did not burst in like an explosion, but more as if through a pinhole. Little by little, the hole became larger and more glorious, and before I realized it, my eyes were no longer blinded by the darkness, but by the light. I was so surrounded by the brightness of that light, that I dropped to my knees and confessed my time of futile searching to Jesus.
That was close to ten years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I thank God for His powerful, sovereign arm in the midst of my deception-riddled rebellion. I believe He allowed me to see how ugly this world is- how dark, how unsatisfying, so that today, I can exhort those who have settled for worthlessness: What are you looking for, friend? “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God… lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:12-14)!
Have you nurtured a heart of unbelief within you? Has the darkness become so appealing that you no longer know who Christ is? I exhort you today then, brethren, return to the only Life and partake of Him! Do not allow the deceitfulness of sin to blind you from sharing in the Light of Life. “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). You will not find life, nor fullness, nor peace, nor joy in any other place other than Jesus – the LIFE who is the light of men.