The Way, The Life
by Michael Blackston
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The Flow – Michael Blackston
The WAY … The LIFE
Jesus made no secret of who believed himself to be - the very incarnation of God.
It is from a certain one of His proclamations of divinity that I title this section, The Way … the Life. Jesus states, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes before the father but by Me.” Jesus makes a statement here that I believe can be seen as more than just the road you want to travel to get to Heaven. It is that, but there’s more to be gathered from the sentence and I think it’s a declaration of how followers of Christ should steer their lives. Not only is He the WAY to Heaven, but also His WAY is the right WAY to live. “I Am the LIFE” is another way of defining this. Jesus is giving an example through His life of how we should live ours so that He can be seen through us.
This is a direct connection to your personal Flow. It’s only logical that believers look to Him and His example for direction in our lives, especially how we treat situations and people in the face of a negative situation. Jesus, being beaten and flogged so that he was unrecognizable, looking his own death in the face, still prayed for forgiveness to those harming Him. At a time when He could have called the angels to His aid and brought the crowd to its knees, he chose patience and love over vengeance and pain, though He was in pain Himself. His example on the cross should be a beacon for all believers to look to in times when we feel inclined, even entitled, to lash out and seek vengeance on those who wrong us.
If nothing else in this book changes your mind on how to relate to others in troubled times, this is the one thing that should. This is the one example that you, believer, should grasp and hold tightly. Because it is the WAY.
As an aside, I can’t expect a non-believer to relate to this example. If this is you, I strongly suggest you investigate the relevance and reliability of the bible for yourself. I recommend that you make it a point to find out the truth about Jesus Christ. The truth is available and it’s up to you to make that decision. All I ask is that you check on it yourself. Don’t take someone else’s word for it. Remember … those who wish that you wouldn’t believe will tell you NOT to believe. Look for yourself and make the decision yourself. We’re not talking about which car to buy or which restaurant at which to eat. We’re talking about life or death and eternity. If you KNEW you had to do brain surgery on someone, you would take it seriously and find out everything you could before the surgery, making absolute SURE that you knew the difference between the right way and the wrong way to perform the surgery. After all, someone’s life is at stake. You may not have to do surgery, but you WILL die sooner or later and it’s your life at stake.. Don’t you think it’s worth the effort to be SURE?
As for believers, you have no argument when confronted with the WAY. Jesus laid it out for you with His life. Then He laid down His life for you. The least we can do is direct our Flow His Way.
So what was Jesus’ WAY of doing things when it came to relating to people and situations and directing His Flow?
Again, He was a man of patience and prayer. He utilized the wisdom of God to guide His thoughts and His actions. After all, He was God. His is the prime example for us to follow. That was one of the points behind His coming to us. We were royally messing things up in the relations and “Flow” department, so not only was He to die for us and rise again, but his life while he walked the earth was to be an outline to guide us.
He was constantly badgered by the Pharisees and the religious rulers of His day. His own people denied Him and screamed “Crucify Him!” Even members of His own family doubted who He was and they knew Him first hand – saw Him fulfill all the prophesies of the coming Messiah – saw the miracles with their own eyes, yet it was only after His death and resurrection that His brother, James, believed and worshiped Him as the Christ. Jesus’ way was to meet torment around every corner from the start of his ministry and handle it with grace and authority, mercy and love. He answered the questions the Pharisees offered up to try and stump Him and embarrass Him in front of the people. And He answered calmly and gently, but again, with authority. He directed His flow.
Jesus also gave us examples of how to deal with stress in times of too much adoration. His was a very eventful ministry and He was constantly surrounded by throngs of people wanting to be healed, even if it meant just getting close enough to tough the hem of his garment. There was stress involved in that and He had to choose the appropriate reaction to deal with it. There were times when He had to break away from the crowds to pray and meditate. Just before the miracle of Jesus walking on the water, he sent even His disciples away into a boat and told them to sail on without Him. He spent some time alone before going back to them and walking across the lake to do it.
Jesus’ way was one of peace and contentment that whatever he did jived with the will of God, even if it meant stepping away from it all for a breath of fresh air and some privacy for prayer.
It’s alright to take yourself out of a situation to alleviate the stress, if that’s what’s needed. But Jesus never lashed out for the sake of relieving stress. Did He lash? Yes. He became angry at the temple when he found it being defiled as a place for marketing. Did he feel pain and sorrow? Yes. He wept at the word that His good friend Lazarus was dead. But Jesus delivered the proper emotion at the proper time. There was never a selfish intent and that’s the difference.
To direct our Flow the way Jesus would direct it in any given situation is to deny self. Jesus never “got back” at someone, even though if any man ever had the authority to do so, it was Him. He was patient and kind. When He lashed out at the temple, it was in defence of God. When he cried at the announcement of the death of Lazarus, it was sorrow for a friend. 1
Selflessness. That’s the way Jesus did it and the way He would have us do it. Now that we know how NOT to act, let’s look at what those correct Flow Directing reactions should look like in finer detail.
1 Some theologians suggest that Jesus wept at the announcement of Lazarus’ death, not from sadness, for He knew that He was about to raise Him from the dead, but that He wept over the lack of faith shown Him by Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, and His disciples. This is merely suggestion and does nothing to change the point that Jesus carried out his emotions in a proper and Godly manner.
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What an important and well-put message for all of us. So much truth here. And what an example He was to us, and continues to be!