The opposite of contentment is being troubled. Jesus said in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be trouble.” We have been looking at John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, by me.” We have discovered that this is God’s answer for troubled nations, troubled churches and troubled believers. It is also God’s answer for troubled sinner—those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, you ought to be trouble—troubled about your destiny and about the fact that you are missing so much that God has for you in this life. You ought also to be trouble about your future apart from God. So, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, I want you to pay close attention to John 14:6
This verse is illustrated in Luke, chapter 15. Jesus told a parable about a father and his two boys—an older brother and a younger brother. In this “the parable of the prodigal son,” (the word “prodigal” means “wasteful”), the younger brother wasted his substance in riotous living.
As you read this account, notice the condition of this boy. First, he was lost (see v.24). He was also ignorant. Verse 17 says, “When he came to himself.” Finally, he was dead. “For this my son was dead” (v.24). These are the characteristics of all unsaved people: lost, ignorant, and spiritually dead.
People like to measure themselves by themselves. Many lost people argue, I’m as good as the people at the church! In fact, I’m probably better! But God does not measure one sinner against another sinner. God measures us by His own standard of holiness. When you and I can say that we are like Jesus Christ, then God will accept us.
So let’s stop comparing ourselves with each other, and let’s just look at this boy and admit that every unsaved person is just like this boy. First, he was lost. What does it mean to be lost? It means to be in a place of danger. It means to be at a distance from the God whom we ought to love and service.
In Luke, chapter 15, there are actually three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. The lost sheep was in a place of danger and could not find his way home. The lost coin was useless. What good is a coin that is lost under the rug somewhere? And the lost son was away from the joy had at home. If you have never received Jesus Christ, you are lost—not geographically, but spiritually. You are in a far country. You ask, How far away is that for country? It’s just one step away from God, one step outside of God’s will.
Second, this young man was ignorant. Luke 15:17 says, “And when he came to himself.” Up to that point, this fellow had been beside himself, blinded by sin, blinded by the world and the flesh. He thought that he could find joy and satisfaction out there in the world—out in the far country—but everything he lived on ran out. The circumstances around him became unbearable. Anybody looking at him would have said, you know, that boy is really stupid. At home he has protection and provision, he has fellowship and love; yet here he is starving alone in this far country. The pigs are better off than he is, because they have someone to take care of them; no one is taking care of him.
Third, he was dead. Of course, he wasn’t physically dead; otherwise he wouldn’t be able to arise and go to his father. He was spiritually dead. He was away from his father’s life, love and blessings. If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour, this is your condition. You may be moral, you may be religious, and you may be the kindest of neighbours; but if you have never trusted Christ, you are lost—you are way from the Father’s home and you are ignorant—you are away from the Father’s life.
What did the prodigal son have to do to change all of this? He had to make a decision. He said, “I will arise.” Salvation involves the whole person—the mind, the emotions and the will. With his mind he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare” (v.17). With his emotions he said, “I perish with hunger” (v.17). And with his will he said, “I will arise” (v.18). Salvation involves all three. You can know the truth, and you can feel the need for Jesus; but until you say, I will arise and go to my Father! God cannot save you.
There are two aspects to our salvation—the human and the divine. Salvation is wholly of grace, but it is not forced upon a person. I note that the lost sheep didn’t find its way home—the shepherd went out looking for the sheep. The lost coin didn’t come rolling out—the woman looked for the coin. Salvation begins with God’s love for the lost sinner. But I notice in this third parable of Luke 15 that the father did not go out to look for the son. The father waited for the son to say, “I will.” There are two aspects to salvation. There is God’s part—God seeks the lost sinner. “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” read Luke 19:10. This is God’s work of grace. But there is also man’s personal response to that grace. “I will arise and go!”
We don’t fully understand all of the this. This is one of the mysteries that we don’t fathom yet; but we know it is true. Jesus Christ appeals to the will when He says, “Come.” This boy said, “I will arise and go to my father.” The only other place I know of in the New Testament that talks about going to the Father is John 14:6. Let’s put this verse beside Luke 15 and see the parallel. This boy was lost, and Jesus aid, “I am the way.” The boy was ignorant, and Jesus said, “I am the truth.” This boy was dead, and Jesus said, “I am the life.”
How do you come to the Father? Through Jesus Christ! You may be saying, Yes, I agree with that—I am lost, I’m wandering, I’m out there in the far country, I’ve run out of satisfaction and sustenance, and I’m ready to quit. Do you mean that Jesus Christ is the way to the Father? Yes, He is, the only way.
You may say, Well, I’ve been ignorant. I thought I could live in sin and get away with it. I thought I could get out here in the world and I’d enjoy life; but I realize that true satisfaction is not in sin. I’ve been stupid! But Jesus says, “I am the truth.” He will take you to the Father.
And if you say, Yes, I’m dead in sin, I realize this—I’m lost, I’m ignorant and I’m dead, Jesus answers, “I am the life;” He will take you to the Father.
For Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to take us to the Father, He had to suffer and die on the cross. It is interesting to note that in the Gospel of John, Jesus used the phrase “lifted up” three times. Now, by “lifted up” He doesn’t mean exalted; He doesn’t mean being put high on a pedestal. By “lifted up” He means crucified. In John 12:32, Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth [crucifixion], will draw all men unto me.” Not all men without exception, but all men without distinction—Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, wise and unwise. He had to be lifted up to draw men to God. He is the way. He had to die that HE might open this true and living way.
“Then said Jesus unto them, When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he” (John 8:28). He was lifted up that He might draw men in the way, and He was lifted up that He might reveal to men the truth. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He was lifted up that men might have the way, know the truth, and receive the life.
Are you troubled today by your sin? I hope you are! I hope you realize how foolish a thing it is to live in sin. If you are troubled by your sin and by the thought of someday facing God, listen to Jesus’ words in John 14:6. If you want to come to the Father, simply open your heart to Jesus Christ; for He is the only One who can save you and take you to the Father.
Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is God’s final and perfect remedy for troubled nations, troubled churches, troubled hearts, and troubled sinners. “Let not your heart to troubled.”
(Former Director of Back to the Bible International)
Courtesy: Confident Living Magazine, Back to the Bible,Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh