Jesus is this sort of map.
A map shows some details of the destination in mind. If you look at a country or state map it might give certain distances between each destination or place. If you look closer it might give you highways or interstates. Some maps might even give you restaurants or places of entertainment depending on the genre and style of the map. The map can only give you so much though, a map doesn’t show you the people, cars or houses, or the tv’s in the house, or maybe even what’s on the television. It doesn’t make the map any less of a map, because it is the map being the map; giving you details of the destination or goal.
Jesus, in more ways than one, points us back to God. In several places he uses the phrase “Kingdom of God”, not kingdom of Jesus. In another place he says something like this, “I am here to do the will of Him who sent me” and so on. Jesus came here to show us God in skin. Show us how to be God in our skin. How to embrace the divine within. To introduce a new way to be human. To show us how to connect with God. To be the ultimate example of God on earth for all of mankind.
Jesus essentially draws us into the circle with God. Like the Rublev’s Trinity fresco we can all come and commune with the Divine Three.
The map shows us how to get to the destination. If we spend all our time worshipping the map, and spending all of our time dissecting the map, then we might never get to the destination. Especially when the “map” is telling us to look towards the destination. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is important. He is divine. But, in his own words, he is not the point. He leads us to the point.
Too many times people remove the phrase “I am the way, the truth, and the life” out of its context and so it seems as if Jesus was mandating some kind of magical process whereby only some can walk through this door to connect with God or receive salvation. Some stand in front of abortion clinics proclaiming this, others stand in pulpits and assert the same thing. Yet, if you begin looking at this phrase from the point of Jesus in light of the context (being a conversation between himself and Thomas) than a different message might appear that is different to the one we have been taught for so long. Again, I need to reiterate that Jesus is important and we can learn oodles of information and how to live, be and breath. He is God in skin, but his being here doesn’t end there. He was here to show us that we too could be like him in every way. Every way.
John 4:12: I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father
The Jews believed/believe everything is connected. We are all connected. Now, Jesus would have known this, He might have even filtered his words through this reality. And if this is true, then Jesus is essentially inviting everyone to also join in on the connection with God. That people could, if they wanted to, join in on the movement of love and grace and peace and so many other things that God is about and we can go to Jesus to find out what some of those things are, the journey should take us onward and closer to God…but if we want to get to the destination we should grab some friends and enjoy the journey on our way to God. If we see God as the destination as a now and not yet, then we can experience him, be like him (not just Jesus) and also meet him in his own fullness one day when…but till then, we can endorse who He is and what he stands for while we live and breath here on earth in each moment…