Author | Steve
“The forgotten way”
That’s what author Ted Dekker calls it. The way of Jesus. It’s a way led by The Way, not a program, not a political agenda, not a list of dos and don’ts.
And its easily forgotten because it is not natural to us. Forget the fact that Jesus is not so easy to follow. For example, at a critical moment – the moment, you might say – Luke records the following interchange between Jesus and some of His disciples:
35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied. ~ Luke 22:35-38 (NIV)
Yet, only a couple hours later Luke records:
47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him,48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. ~ Luke 22:49-51
My Way or The Way?
Now we can parse the language and explain the nuances of Jesus’ words, but how could you not end up with the same understanding as Peter (the one who struck with the sword)? Jesus says to get a sword, we get a sword. Now the time comes to use a sword and He says, “No more of this!” If we are intellectually honest, this should knock us off our game. You know, the game where we are in control. The game where we set the direction – the way.
If we are intellectually honest, this should knock us off our game. You know, the game where we are in control.
I would have blown it too! Who can understand? Which way do we go, Jesus?
The way that follows Him in all our uneasy misunderstanding and tripping and falling and awkwardness. His way, where He leads and we follow; where He dies so we can live; where we die to making our own way, so we can receive freely the way to His Father’s kingdom He alone can give.
Which way do we go, Jesus? “My way,” He answers.
The way that follows Him in all our uneasy misunderstanding and tripping and falling and awkwardness.
And I forget this way because…well, really, because I’m me – finite, sinful, broken me. His ways are not my ways. I earn my way. I decide my way. And, if it gets too hard, I pick a different way.
But here’s the real mind-bending stuff: The Way (Jesus) comes to me and invites me into His ways! The One Who is beyond all-knowing comes close and makes Himself known to me. This is what Peter experienced in Jesus. Peter didn’t get progressively better at understanding Jesus because of something inherent in Peter, or because Peter tried harder. Shoot, when Peter tried harder, he fell on his face just like I do! No, Peter was encountered by the living God and transformed by His presence; so much so, that when Jesus says something so hard that droves of people are leaving and He asks, “Are you going to leave too,” Peter responds, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”
The Way (Jesus) comes to me and invites me into His ways! The One Who is beyond all-knowing comes close and makes Himself known to me.
Forgetting The Way Who Doesn’t Forget Us
It’s “the forgotten way” because we so quickly try to make our way on our own…without The Way. We don’t want to need someone else that much. That would be pathetic! But the good news is, The Way has not forgotten us! In fact, He came to seek and to save the lost – those who have lost their way.
It’s “the forgotten way” because we so quickly try to make our way on our own…without The Way…but the good news is, The Way has not forgotten us!
To be honest, I’ve struggled with posting this. I’m not really sure why. As I read through this, it feels disjointed to me. It feels like I so often do – wandering and full of misunderstanding and false starts.
But in the mess of my misunderstanding, Jesus keeps showing up with gifts I could never imagine, doing what I never could – making a way that leads to life. Even if I don’t understand Him sometimes…or even most of the time, who else am I going to go to?