“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” – John 14:6
In this passage, Jesus is describing eternal life, assuring his disciples that they know the way to where He will be. Thomas questions this and Jesus gives him the answer that He (Jesus) is the way. Philip jumps in and asks Jesus to simply show them the Father believing that would be enough. Jesus responds explaining that He is in the Father.
“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” – John 14:11
What did this mean for them?
It meant the law was not the way to salvation. In one sense this was great news – the law was impossible! No man could keep it. On the other hand, this probably seemed risky. They would have to rely on this man to bring them to God. What faith they must have had to believe that this Jesus, a man, was capable of this! They knew he was sinless at this point, but who could say what tomorrow would bring? He certainly had not risen from the dead and defeated death! This is why Jesus pointed them to the evidence of the miracles. God meets us where we are, providing the reassurances we need for belief.
He is The Way
The ultimate point of this passage is the way to Heaven. He’s explaining that he will be leaving, going to His Father’s house to prepare a room for his disciples. He explains that his disciples know the way there, that He is the way.
A worldview exists in our culture called religious pluralism. Alisa Childers explains it this way:
“There’s no right way or wrong way to think about God, and my religion is no better or more right than yours.”
Our society values “tolerance” so much that even some Christians are claiming that “all roads lead to God”.
Bad news – not everyone is even seeking God! Those who practice Hinduism and Buddhism are seeking a new state of being not a place. Hindus seek Moksha where all of their self is one with everything. Buddhists seek Nirvana, a point where they are nothing, not even a soul. Mormons are seeking to become a god of their own planet.
So to say that we are really all saying the same thing is false and often offensive to practitioners of other religions. Our current world is offended at the idea of One Way. That would mean other ways are wrong and it’s wrong to say someone is wrong.
But Jesus said the He is The Way! And it’s really a truly, beautiful thing. He is God (the only living God) who came to Earth to sacrifice himself to be reconciled with us. He brings fulfillment to the everlasting covenant. When he says He is the way, He means salvation is through Him (not us or any other fictitious god).
In a research study by the Barna Research Group, 66 percent of Americans deny the existence of absolute truth. You may hear people extolling “my truth”, “your truth”, “their truth” in a way of discussing topics without claiming any one thing or even daring to say someone else may not be right.
Three-quarters of Millennials (74%) agree strongly or somewhat with the statement, “Whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know,” compared to only 38 percent of Elders.
Even Pilate questioned the concept of truth:
“Jesus answered, ’You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’”
“’What is truth?’” Pilate asked.” – John 18:36b – 38a
The good news is that Jesus does not leave it to us to determine the truth on our own. He is the truth.
Psalm 119:160 says “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; he will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”
I find that last passage most interesting and as another argument supporting the Trinity. Jesus is the truth but he is clearly speaking about the Spirit. They each have their own roles to play in our lives. Jesus, the Father and the Spirit of truth all live in and among us today so that our mouths will be open with the word and our hearts guided toward Him.
It is also notable that the Bible calls the sum of God’s word as truth. As Christians, I think it is easy to undervalue God’s word. The question will come up over and over again in your Christian life: how do I get closer to God? How can I understand Him better?
Read his word. Pray. Ask for discernment, wisdom and clarity. He had a lot to say in the books of the Old Testament and Jesus and His apostles affirm every word in the New Testament. Be brave and start at the beginning. Do what you did a long time ago. There will always be more to learn and it is the Spirit of Truth that guides us along, but He calls us to seek Him. You know the verse.
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:12-13
Asking questions is good. Take some time to think of the questions you would have if you weren’t a believer. Then study to find the answers. God’s word is not flimsy. It isn’t weak. There are answers there about the way, the truth and the life!
Jesus lastly declares that He is the life. He is not only our way to Heaven, the pure and absolute truth in this world, but He is the everlasting life that our hearts are yearning.
God laid out the parameters for our lives clearly back in Deuteronomy 30:19.
“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
God wants LIFE for us! Like a good father, he has set before us the way to live, the absolute truth to hold to and the life that is everlasting. All He asks is that we choose life, choose Jesus.
…the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” – John 1:4
Yes, Jesus wants life for you! A heavenly life, a spiritual life, one aligning with his life. It is not just a life of freedom (and we are free!) it is a life of sacrifice. What I mean is, his life is the life that was sacrificed.
He is the way. The only way to the Father. Not our good works, not another god or some other theory.
He is the truth. The absolute truth. The living truth.
He is the life. The sacrificial life. The one who offered himself in surrender to the Father. It is his life that gives us everlasting life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” – John 10:1
I was struck by the visual here of someone sneaking in from another way – not for the purpose of entering – but to steal. This is a warning to me to be on my guard from messages that are not in line with His word. It’s not just another theory, but a strategy to steal me from Jesus. I’m precious to Him. I know the way. To admit there is another or allow secular messages to infiltrate the truth is a thief to His absolute reality. He said the gate would be narrow. He also put His face on it. He is the gate. We know what to look for.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:9
Jesus is a good shepherd. The Father is a good father. The Spirit is one of Truth. These are all relational and open-hearted parts of the Trinity that are rooting for us. He said in Deuteronomy “choose life”! Satan is active and one of his greatest lies is that he does not exist, that Heaven and Hell are not real. For me, I choose everlasting life. One with someone who has never given up. Who sees perfection when he sees me. Not because I am good, but because He is.