I was reading a book the other day and came across the following statement: “So the way of Jesus is not about religion; it’s about reality.” I know that is a simple statement. One I’ve seen before. But this time when I read it, it seemed to explode in my mind and heart.
Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” When he said this, he wasn’t comparing various religions, but talking about life. He was saying, “Look at me! My life is the truth. Tis is the way you should be living.
This is what life was meant to be.” He wasn’t comparing his “way” with another “way.”
He was comparing his life with our lives. He was saying your life and my life could be like this. This is life as the Father intended.
Somehow, we have turned Jesus’ teachings into a religion and it has stopped being reality. It has become another part of our lives (something we add to what we do). It no longer redefines our lives (changing everything we perceive and how we react to life around us). A discussion about Jesus’ life and teachings is not a philosophical discussion comparing the pros and cons of a belief system. Instead, it is a discussion about what is real, what is true, and about what is important in how to live our lives.
This is what it means to be “a follower of Christ.” It is allowing His life to become the pattern for our lives. A follower looks at how Jesus lived life, then tries to live the same way. It changes everything about us: how we see ourselves, how we respond to others, how we determine the priorities of our lives. His way becomes our way. His truth becomes our truth. And his life becomes our life. Following Christ means everything to us or it means nothing.
Either Jesus’ life demonstrated reality or it did not. If it did, then we must decide if we are willing to base our life on his. Do we see our following Christ as a religious choice or as a decision on what is the reality of life? Tere is a big diﬀerence between the two. Ask yourself today:
“Has Jesus become a religion for me or does he define reality for me?” This is an important question. Even more important is your response.