Our Focus Should be on Our Heavenly Father
Most Christians revere Jesus and place him at the center of their faith. Indeed, all of history revolves around Jesus’s saving work that he did for us—for everyone—when he died in our place, sacrificing himself for the wrong things we’ve done.
The Old Testament builds up to this, the four biographies of Jesus explain this, and the rest of the New Testament—along with everything that has happened in our world since then—flows from what he did. Yet Jesus is not the end. He is the means to the end.
Jesus Is the Way
In the Bible, Jesus often implores people to “follow me”. If he expects people to follow him, this mean that he knows the right way to go.
In the gospel of John, Jesus directly says that he is the way (John 14:6). He is not the destination, but simply the path to reach the destination. In fact, he says he is the way, the truth, and the life.
Peter explains that we can find our salvation through him and only through him (Acts 4:12). This means that Jesus is the way.
Jesus Is the Gate
In another place in the book of John, Jesus calls himself the gate for the sheep. All who enter through the gate will be saved (John 10:7-9).
He is our shepherd, our Good Shephard. We, as his sheep, know his voice and follow him. He protects us from evil, from thieves and robbers intent on doing us harm. (Read Jesus’s full teaching on this in John 10:1-18.)
In another place, Jesus calls himself the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14). He urges us to take this path.
What Is the Result?
Since Jesus is the way to—and the gate of—the sheep pen, what does the pen symbolize? It has both present and future significance.
For now, the sheep pen—with Jesus as the gate—represents our spiritual community, our fellowship with others who believe in and follow him. He is the gate that lets us into this existence here on earth today.
For later, we can take assurance that the sheep pen represents our eternity in heaven. Jesus is also the way and the gate that opens the doors for heaven, where we’ll live with him forever.
The Father Is the Destination
The result of following Jesus as the way—and going through him as the narrow gate—is heaven. Yet this misses one thing that’s even more important: the Father. After Jesus says he is the way, he adds that no one can come to the Father if they don’t go through him (John 14:6). Jesus is the way to the Father.
Jesus dies as the solution to our sin problem. In doing so, he makes us right with Father God and reconciles us into a right relationship with him. Yes, we will live forever in heaven, but we will live there with the Father. The Father is the focus of heaven.
Jesus is the way, and the Father—our heavenly Father—is the destination. May we never forget this.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.