In John 14:6 (ESV) 6 Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” With these brief words, Jesus explains why he is humanity’s one and only hope. With the words Way, Truth and Life, he made his identity and mission clear for his followers, so we could understand the hope he was offering us. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as this conversation happens on the last night before the crucifixion, during the Passover meal. Before this, Jesus had washed the disciple’s feet, predicted his betrayal by Judas, predicted his denial by Peter, and told the disciples he would soon be going away. All of this prompted questions about why they couldn’t follow where he was going.
I Am the Way
Jesus is the way to the Father. Our human instinct is to know where we are going before we start a journey. The disciples wanted to know the next step, the next turn, the stops in between and the ultimate destination of where this journey in faith would lead them. However, Jesus makes it clear that they wouldn’t know the defined way they were supposed to travel in life. Instead we are tasked with simply knowing and trusting Jesus daily, and walking in faith that He Is The Way. When we abide in him, we will not know a defined course, but we can rest in the comfort of faith, that he will lead us exactly where we need to go as we walk in relationship with him.
In John 10, Jesus compared himself to a good shepherd. In order to be safe under His protection, we have to trust the shepherd, and not wander off on our own adventures and try to find our own way. But when we follow Jesus, he leads us to exactly where we need to be. Eventually when we have completed the journey of this life, we will find ourselves in Heaven in the Father’s House where Jesus will have also prepared a place for us.
I Am the Truth
Jesus is the truth from God. After Jesus had been arrested, He found himself standing before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea. He had been accused of blasphemy, of stirring up the people to revolution, and it was rumoured He called himself a King. In speaking to Him, Pilate found no evidence of any crime worthy of death, but was fascinated by His talk of a different Kingdom. In John 18:36 (ESV) 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
Pushing back on the idea of whether this lowly carpenter from Galilee truly considered himself to be some kind of King, Jesus replies, in John 18:37-38 (ESV) 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
Jesus answered this question in John 14, with the disciples, when he tells them “I am the truth”. Jesus can testify to the truth and teach the truth, because he himself is The Truth. In him there is nothing false, nothing misleading, and nothing fake or uncertain. Each of us are capable of knowing truth, but none of us can claim to actually be truth. There are too many things we don’t know, and too many things we get wrong throughout our lives. Yet Jesus claims to be truth, and in doing so, claims to be one with God the Father.
I Am the Life
Jesus is the life. This life is not our ultimate goal and does not encompass the entirety of who we are. This life is a mere drop in the ocean of eternity and serves as the starting block on the marathon that leads us to our goal of eternal life. We can slow it down, we can spend time, money and energy working to fight against it, but we can’t stop it from marching forward.
Because this life is not the point. Jesus is teaching us that what we are to really be concerned with is not this life, but with eternal life. The Scriptures speak often of the life to come after our life on this earth, and as we follow the voice of our shepherd, we can grasp what that eternal life is in the here and now. We can live this life in such a way that we are not chasing things that don’t last but chasing the things that do last and have eternal significance. This type of life has eternal impact not only for us but for untold others around us.
John 10:10 (ESV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
When Jesus refers to himself as The Way, The Truth, and The Life, he is giving us a better way to live our lives through him. He is showing us that through following him daily in faith, he will lead us to a better, abundant, more meaningful life, than we could ever find on our own.