Discovering the Way

Discovering the Way

John 14:5-7

"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Thomas had to have proof. He wanted clarity rather than obscurity, so when Christ stated that he was leaving them and going to prepare a place for them Thomas was confused. For the last three years, they had walked with Jesus and traveled with him. Where Jesus went, they went. Where Jesus slept, they slept. Where Jesus ate, they ate. But now, they did not know where he was going.

The problem with Thomas and the disciples is that they were thinking physically and spatially rather than spiritually. They saw through the lens of the present. For Thomas, he needed to know where Jesus was going so that the disciples could figure out how to get there. Jesus said in verse 4 that they knew the way to where he was going. But that did not make sense to rational Thomas. How could they know which road or path to take out of Jerusalem if they did not know the location of the place?

Jesus' response provides one of the most important truths in Scripture. Christ points to four critical elements of our understanding of Christ. First, he states that "I am the way." In other words, he is the path, the road that one must embrace that leads to the destination. He is the way to God. The pathway to knowing God and having a relationship with the Father comes through Christ. Not that Jesus merely points the way to God, but that he is the way to Father. He is the way in that he is the one who redeems us from sin and makes access to the Father possible through his death.

Second, he is the truth of God. In a world of misinformation, truth becomes elusive. We are bombarded with misinformation regarding the news and events that shape our world. But even more tragic and troubling is the misinformation about the truth of God. In an age of religious misinformation, Christ is the supreme revelation of God. He is the one who provides the ultimate narration of God's nature (vs. 7; see also John 1:1). Our understanding of the Father comes through Christ. Not just that he is the source of truth, but he is also the standard of truth.

Third, he is Life. Christ is the foundation of all life. He is the one who has life in himself (5:26). Christ is the resurrection and the life (11:25). This life is not just life in the present but eternal life. Eternal life is not achieved by our inherent abilities. It is not attained by how we live. It is not grounded in our merit. It is only obtained through Christ. He was the lamb of God who gave his life to conquer death. He is the only one who has the power and authority over death and can give eternal life to us. Apart from him, there is only death.

Last, he is the exclusive path to God. Christ dispels any belief that there are multiple ways to God. Christ leaves no room for all religions and paths leading to the same destination. Christ makes it clear that "no one" can obtain salvation apart from the personal acceptance of him. All other religions and beliefs fall short and lead away from Christ. He is the only one who can give life.

Thomas a Kempis summarized this verse in his classic book, "The Imitation of Christ": "Follow thou me. I am the way and the truth and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope. I am the inviolable way; the infallible truth, the unending life. I am the straightest way; the sovereign truth; life true, life blessed, life uncreated."

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