Moses said, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.”
Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
There are currently two people in our lives’ orbit whom we are trying to help. They are unrelated. One is a man. The other is a woman. Both, however, are having a difficult time putting the pieces of life together effectively and navigating good decisions consistently. The result is a continuing pattern of financial failure, relational dysfunction, and a string of misfortune: an object lesson and dim image of the curse of disobedience of which Moses speaks in Deuteronomy.
The danger of not following God’s commands, however, is far worse than a string of bad luck and financial failures. When he speaks of the curse of not following God’s laws Moses was speaking of direct divine judgments that Israel would experience because of their rebellion. They would experience defeat in battle, destruction of their cities (even the temple itself), and exile to a foreign land because of their disobedience, and failure to acknowledge God’s proper place in their lives. It would lead ultimately to Jesus harsh condemnation: “Behold your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:38).
Jesus’ words stand not only of his claim to be the only source of God’s salvation, but as a Good News message against the backdrop of our failure to keep God’s laws and commands as we should. What Israel and all of humanity failed to do Jesus did perfectly. His grace, love, forgiveness, and victory over sin is the way to true life. He alone can make that offer.
Some have difficulty saying that eternal life and salvation comes only through Jesus. It is not politically correct. Never mind that Jesus never worried about political correctness. But think of this: if there is another way by which we may be saved, why did Jesus have to die? Why did he pray in the garden of Gethsemane, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)?
We need look nowhere else: Jesus alone provides the way to the father. The abundance of God’s blessings flow to those who seek him and believe in his name. No one else is able to make that claim or deliver on that promise. We are thankful for Jesus’ promise as we strive to help these two people, for it reaches especially to them in the midst of their struggles. It also gives us a picture of God’s disappointment but continuing love in the face of our own failures, calling us back to the way of Jesus: love, truth, and life under God’s grace.