People of the way

Cracks in the road, Edinburgh (Photo: Irene Bom)

In the upper room, just hours before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said:

‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’

John 14:1-7

I wonder

Is that why the early Christians were known as “People of the Way”?
(see Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22)

Saul of Tarsus – a radical young Rabbi – played an active part in persecuting followers of the Way until Jesus appeared to him on the Road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18) and he had a change of heart and became a follower of the Way too, changing his name to Paul. Through his missionary journeys and letters he touched many lives and communities and the movement spread, even to this day.

Digging deeper

Read Acts 16:16-40 about Paul and Silas’ night in a Philippian jail. Imagine you are one of the other prisoners. What can you tell about “People of the Way” from what you witness that night? What is your response?

Also check out this helpful study outline on “People of the Way”.


inspired by Mark 14:12-15

to those of us who sometimes find
your ways of doing things
and choice of messengers
puzzling and

may that unnamed water-carrier,
who led those first disciples to
the upper room,
alert us to the many
little-known people
who cross our paths,
and who,
if followed,
lead us through
of welcome and hospitality
to extraordinary
of your grace.

from A Procession of Prayers: Meditations and Prayers from Around the World by John Carden, p. 165

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