It is My Way, My Truth, and My Life, so Back Off!
“I’m looking for an opening for an appointment at my doctor’s office, to get my knees checked out,” I told Ed, my old neighbor, last week. “I have one knee that buckles on me, all too regularly. Both knees seem to be demonstrating an unwillingness to work without protesting,” I continued.
“Hold on,” Ed said, “I did not phone you to hear you whining about your knees.” He then asserted, “I have no patience when people start talking about their bad knees, bad backs, or bad doctors. Bad knees are their problem that the rest of us cannot fix, so they should just spare us the details.”
“Have you ever heard of sympathy and concern for others?” I asked Ed. He said that it was not his way to listen to belly-aching. He shared that when people start telling him their ailments, he changes the subject fast before they get all wound up about every detail of their affliction. Ed confessed that he lives his life, believing that people are whiners, but he doesn’t need to listen to them.
“Are all people complainers or whiners?” I asked Ed. He answered that they would be if you give them an opening. “Wouldn’t you want others to hear about your trouble with bad knees or a bad back?” I asked Ed. He answered that he would only want people to hear about his problems if they could help fix the trouble
My old neighbor has never been open to listening to what people say unless what they say suits him. Jesus found that same unwillingness to listen with his disciples when he tried to prepare them that he would soon be arrested, crucified and rise from the dead on the third day. He told his disciples, “I will be with you only a little while longer. Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
His disciples did not want to hear that Jesus was going to his Father in heaven. There he would prepare rooms for them in his Father’s house. Jesus promised that he would come back later from his Father’s house to take them there so they could be with him there with the Father.
Thomas was concerned about knowing the way to the Father’s house, but Jesus assured Thomas that he, Jesus, was the way to the Father in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Philip wanted Jesus to show them the Father. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I’m in the Father and the Father is in me? It is the Father, living in me who is doing his work.”
The disciples were not open to believing and trusting in Jesus when Jesus spoke of things beyond this world and the way of his death and separation from them. It was not the way they thought Jesus should behave as the Messiah from God.
Many decide they will live their lives, by their own truth and way. Many say, “Back off, it is my way, my truth, and my life. I don’t care if Jesus said it first!”