Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Mar Thoma Church DaySt. John 14: 1-7
In St John Chapters 14-17 we see Jesus addressing eleven of his disciples through his Farewell Discourse, the night before his crucifixion.
While chapter 13 of the Gospel of John is dramatic with Judas Iscariot walking away into the darkness of the night, Chapter 14 is mellow and philosophic. While Chapter 13 describes the last supper and the anticipation of the departure of the Messiah, Chapter 14 provides the ultimate assurance for the salvation of believers in Christ.
Jesus tells the disciples that he will go to the Father and the message makes the disciples nervous about his departure. But Jesus encourages them to hold fast in the face of hardship and not have troubled hearts. He assures them that he will "go to prepare a place" for them in his Father's house, he would then come back and take them also to be with him. In verse 4, we read Jesus telling the disciples, “You know the way to the place where I am going”, to which St. Thomas reverts (verse 5), "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
Till verse 4 we see the disciples being addressed as a group, but thereafter we see specific conversations with three disciples - Thomas, Philip, and Judas (the son of James or also called Thaddeus). In the first of three individualized conversations in this chapter, Jesus speaks with St.Thomas.
John 14:6,7 is the response to St. Thomas and probably a few of the most quoted verses of the scripture.
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me."
"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him"
As someone who just passed my teenage and representing probably Sunday school children and youth, I can definitely identify with St. Thomas. He is doubting Thomas not because he has doubts, but because he wants answers to his doubts and the LORD gives him an answer beyond doubts - that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Faith in Jesus is the single way/path to redemption and there is no other path. As followers of the church established by St. Thomas, we have the answer given to him as our guiding principle.
We are celebrating 21 Dec 21 as The Mar Thoma Church Day. The Mar Thoma church in its approach and belief puts to practice what St. Thomas was told by Jesus, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Salvation is not a process, it is a person. It is through—and only through—the person of Christ. We cannot strive to earn heaven, we can only seek to follow Christ. That is how we are meant to know God (John 14:7). We are lighted to lighten through Jesus the savior.
Dear Lord, Strengthen us as you have done for your disciples to remain faithful in times of challenges and continue to see you as the way, the truth, and the life without wavering and to reach salvation
Thought for the Day
Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us but before that, he would send the Holy Spirit. Both for the disciples and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him.
Thejus G Sajan
Trinity Mar Thoma Church, Medical College, Trivandrum