This is the Way

Before Jesus’ followers were called Christians they were known as the followers of “the Way.”

For example, in Acts 19:23 a riot is described in Ephesus: “About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way.” In Acts 22:4 Paul described his former way of life: “I persecuted this Way to the death…”

This title—even if was informal—is surely rooted in statements like this from John 14:6. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Or we might think of the “narrow path” described in Matthew 7:14.

The Mandalorian is a TV series and a part of the Star Wars enterprise. The main character is a bounty hunter with expensive armour. He never takes off his helmet. 

He and other Mandalorians follow a code. Every so often after making a decision about what to do, they say, “This is the Way.” They protect their own kind, live by a certain virtue, and keep their word. Yes, they slaughter many opponents, so put that in a side category for a moment! But they had a certain kinship as followers of this same code—of this “Way.”

I can only imagine that the early Christians also shared a certain kinship—although a much more peaceful one! Together, they adhered to a certain code. They were followers of “the Way.”

So are we.

Blending in is not an option for followers of the Way of Jesus. We are different. We worship God. We study his word. We pray to him. We serve as members of Jesus’ body. We love others, including our enemies. We seek holiness. We help the poor. We bless and do not curse. Although we cannot see him, we offer whole-hearted fidelity to—and trust in—our good and sovereign Father of providence.

John Piper writes: “The teaching of this Book shows the way to eternal life and shapes the way we live in this life.”*

Jesus is the way to eternal life; he is also the pathway in this life leading toward the next one.

As you go about this noble work, remember you are not alone. We are all over the place. And be certain that your work has meaning as you beat back the darkness with the help of God himself.

This is the Way.


Notes:

–*John Piper, A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures reveal their complete truthfulness (Wheaton: Inter-Varsity, 2016), 129.

–“Exclusive Inclusion: Is Jesus the only Way?” Sermon. December 11, 2022. Click here. You can also find it on ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ (published on December 12, 2022).

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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