Is Jesus The End or Just a Means?

 If you are a follower of Christ, have you ever asked yourself, “Why do I serve God”? Is Jesus a means to an end for me, or is He the end-goal?  This question is important because if Jesus is only a “means” to my salvation and not the end, I am following Him for selfish reasons, and just “using Him” to get somewhere else. The very foundation of being a disciple is self-denial. I believe Jesus Himself answered the question in the gospel of John.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  John 14:6–7 (NRSV)

“Way” suggests that Jesus is not just a path to somewhere else, He is the path. The path begins and ends with Him. Charles Finney spoke of people who “have sought happiness their whole lives, and not finding it in the world, found it in the Church” These are people whose goal is happiness and the means to get there was God. Today in an effort to “just all get along”, it is suggested that there are many “paths” or “roads” to salvation. Jesus removed all doubt when He declared himself not just “a way”, but “THE way”

“Truth” means that Jesus is not just “a truth” but the embodiment of all truth. He is the “Word become flesh”.   Billy Graham was asked if he had it to do it all over again what would he do different? His answer flys in the face of  “how things are done today”.  He said that he would “read less books about God and read the Bible.” Our lives can be filled with teachings, doctrines, and dogmas that are “true” to the level that we become lost to the truth. During Jesus’ time, the Pharisees were so deeply divided with the Sadducees about the finer points of Judaism that when Jesus showed up, they couldn’t see Him for who He was. They had become blinded to the truth by their own dogmas That’s why Paul spoke of those who are “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth”. Knowing an assortment of things that are true could never substitute for walking with Him who is “the truth”.

“Light” pin points the reality that Jesus is not what people research in the sterile halls of a seminary, nor can He be placed in a test tube for study. No amount of light of knowledge can capture Him any more than a shining flash light can give insights about the sun. Abraham Hechel said it best:

“He is not something to be sought in the darkness with the light of reason.
He is the light.”

 This is why Jesus’ eternal words ring with relevancy today: “follow me”. We can easily be tempted to follow the Christian culture, or even relevant Bible teachings without really following the person – Jesus.
In the end, you can’t put a light on Jesus, suggest a road leading to Jesus, or unfold a revelation that points to Him.  He is all these things, and being saved means following Him.