A couple weeks ago I wrote about the kingdom of God being like turn-by-turn directions, as opposed to being able to zoom out and see the whole map. Instead of seeing the destination on the map and using your own route to get there, you just have to trust the voice that tells you, “In 500 feet, turn right on Fifth Street.”
God doesn’t seem to be interested in giving us a map with the destination on it. He seems to be more into turn-by-turn directions. It’s all part of the training he wants to give us in trusting him instead of our own wisdom, intelligence, and problem-solving prowess.
Jesus is comforting his disciples on the eve of his imminent departure from them, telling them that they cannot yet come where he is going. Thomas vocalizes the reasonable question that the others are likely thinking, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” If you don’t give us the address, how are we supposed to get there?
There it is again. The desire to know the destination so we can find our own path to get there. Just tell us where you’re going, Jesus. We’ll meet you there. We’ll figure out how to get there.
Jesus answers his question with words that are now famous, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” You do know the way, Thomas, because you know me. You want the address so you can find your way, but I’m the only “way” you need to know. Follow me, abide in me, and you’ll get where you need to be.
In the kingdom, we don’t get to see the end from the beginning. We receive turn-by-turn directions, learning to trust the goodness and wisdom of the Person we are following. Jesus is the way.