Jesus invites us to a journey. “Come, follow me.” It is a simple invitation to go on an adventure with a beloved friend. The Christian life is more than right belief. It is more than intellectual assent. It is an invitation to a journey with Jesus.
Another word for the journey with Jesus is discipleship. Discipleship, following the way of Jesus with Jesus, has many twists and turns and unexpected bends in the road. Sometimes the path feels easy and other times like a demanding incline. But the end goal (in Greek, telos) of discipleship is always the same: to be like Christ.
If that seems impossible, you are actually in a very good place to start. In fact, it would be impossible if it were not for a very important certainty: we make the journey with Jesus. That is why it is a journey of grace.
When Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), he was talking about more than a sequential intellectual equation or a transactional agreement we make with God. He was describing the relational way discipleship will happen. Indeed, Way, Truth, and Life are not philosophical abstractions or life principles. Way, Truth, and Life are a Person.
Jesus was pointing toward the proper telos (goal) of the journey: real life as God intended, and the means by which we reach the goal are the way and the truth, fulfilled in and through himself. The journey of grace is relational to the core.
The journey of grace is relational to the core.
James K. A. Smith describes discipleship as “a kind of immigration, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col. 1:13).” This is journey language—moving from one country to another. It is about changing citizenship and allegiances, which is entirely impossible apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ, who is the Way. Smith continues: “In Christ we are given a heavenly passport; in his body we learn to live like ‘locals’ of his kingdom. Such an immigration to a new kingdom isn’t just a matter of being teleported to a different realm; we need to be acclimated to a new way of life, learn a new language, acquire new habits—and unlearn the habits of that rival dominion.”
I really believe that when Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you” (John 14), that promise included the guarantee that he has personally made reservations for the trip, including accommodations when we arrive. He is our heavenly passport who enables us to become locals of a new country—of his kingdom. Best of all, he promises to accompany us all the way home. Jesus will be our Way for the way. This is the hope of a journey of grace.
Way, Truth, Life resources are available now on TheFoundryPublishing.com. In Way, Truth, Life, David Busic invites us to consider the various ways that God’s seeking, saving, sanctifying, sustaining, and sufficient grace meets us where we are in our lives. Join with church communities around the world through this journey of grace.