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John 14:6-9

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life

 Jesus Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:23-24). He is not one of an infinite number of ways to God; He is the way, the truth and the life. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” That is “probably the most exclusive statement ever made by anyone.” It is the greatest offense in our modern age of tolerance. But the truth remains. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  The world outside of Christ hates that statement. The truth is Jesus is Lord (cf. Phil. 2:8-11). “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Jesus made this statement with a sense of supreme authority on the night before His death. This is one of the seven great “I am” statements in the Gospel of John. Jesus directs the thoughts of the disciples to Himself. He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” He answers to our greatest needs in life, and He can do that because He is the “I AM.” “I myself (I with strong emphasis) am the way.” With the “I am” there is the emphatic emphasis, “I and I alone, I and no other” am the way, and the truth, and the life.  The “way” is the means to God the Father. He is the only Way. Only this ONE WAY takes us to the Father, and this way is a unique person.

The highest occupation for the Christian is Jesus Christ and an increasing personal knowledge of Him. Jesus is the way to the Father; He is the truth incarnate and He is the life to all who believe on Him.

OUR GREATEST NEED

We are in the desperate need in our day for “the truth” in the place of religious ignorance and error. Jesus gives us a perfect revelation of the LORD God.

Moreover, we are alienated from God because of our sin, and we need the perfect way into His holy presence. There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). “The wages of sin is death . . .” (Rom. 6:23a). However, there is a way to God through the person of Jesus Christ. “He who has seen Me,” Jesus said, “has seen the Father.”

 We are dead in our trespasses and sins, and He alone gives us eternal life instead of death. Our fallen parents beget fallen children. When Adam sinned he became alienated from God and tried to hide himself. After believing the devil’s lie he was no longer capable of perceiving the truth, he no loner had spiritual life because God’s law was strictly enforced. The Bible says, “In the day you eat thereof you shall surely die.”

All three of these needs are perfectly met by Jesus Christ. Are you alienated from God because of your sins and trespasses? Jesus is the way. Are you in the need of absolute spiritual truth, without any mixture of error? Jesus is the truth. Are you dead spiritually? Jesus is the life, and He gives eternal life.

In the preceding verses in John 14 the disciples were in a state of shock because Jesus had just told them that they could not follow where He is going. They were troubled because Jesus was talking about His death. They were agitated like water in a pot on a hot stove. Jesus told them that He is preparing a place in heaven. He is the means of bringing them to heaven to be with His Father. He is going ahead of them and will prepare a permanent resting place for His people when they arrive one by one, or when He comes at His Second Coming in glory.

Keep clearly in mind the one who is speaking is headed to the cross on the next day. Yet, there is not the slightest doubt in Jesus’ words. “If it were not so, I would have told you.” I go to prepare a permanent place for you. Absolute certainty is written all over the passage. The disciples and every believer will be with Jesus one day. Here is the greatest assurance that the believer will be with His Lord. If we follow Him we will come to where He is. Our destination is to be with Him in heaven.

One of His disciples, Thomas, wanted Jesus to make it absolutely clear. How can they know the way? It seems so important to Him (v. 5).

Jesus has been teaching His disciples that He is going back to be with the Father (13:3; 16:5, 10, 17). Now He speaks of the way to God because He not only shows the way,  He is the only way to the Father. 

JESUS IS THE WAY

Jesus is not only the way; He is the only way to the Father. Man is totally ruined in sin, and his only hope in a right relationship with God is through the atonement of Jesus Christ. The solution to our problem is a personal relationship with Christ. Jesus said, “It is enough that you know Me.”

Our sin problem

Our problem is we are lost spiritually. We are like dumb foolish sheep that have wandered away into spiritual wilderness and have lost our way. Without Jesus Christ we are wanderers.

We are totally ruined by sin and are in a state of depravity. We feel guilty because we are guilty. We are in total ruin in God’s sight. We are not slightly tarnished by sin; we are dead, lost, condemned, unclean, alienated, totally depraved. We cannot influence on our part a right relationship with God. The only way we can have a right relationship with Him is by His grace. Because of our spiritual state we cannot fix ourselves. We are sinners. That is not an excuse or a cop-out. It is a reality. We are spiritually dead and lost.

Enter by the blood

“Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19-22).

The only way back to God is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ. He is not merely a spiritual guide who came to show sinners the path in which they ought to travel. He is Himself the Way to the Father. There is no other way because Jesus Christ is the only person who can deal with our sin problem. The sinless, spotless Lamb of God took our sins upon Himself and died for us. He is our substitute. He died in our place. All our sins were laid on Him, and He paid our death penalty. The Bible tells us, “The wages of sin is death.” Christ died our death, so He could give us eternal life. Jesus went to the cross and died for you and me. Our debt is paid in full. He bore in His own body the wrath of God for us. He was our substitute, and by His atoning sacrifice He removed the guilt and punishment of our sin forever. This is why He is our only way into the holy presence of God.

Because of His death on the cross God can now remove the believing sinner’s sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12); i.e., infinity. He has placed them behind His back and can no longer see them (Isa. 38:17). He has cast them out of our reach “into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). Our sins are forgiven (Col. 2:13), forgotten (Heb. 10:17), and removed forever (Ps. 103:12).

The perfect way

Jesus in not only your only way; He is the perfect way into God’s presence. We have a perfect position with God the Father. C. H. Spurgeon preached, “God’s grace comes in and says to my soul, ‘Thou hast sinned; but did not Jesus come to save sinners? Thou art not saved because thou art righteous; for Christ died for the ungodly.’ And my faith says, ‘Though I have sinned, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and though I am guilty, yet by grace I am saved and I am a child of God still.’ . . . ‘How could I ever sin against my God who is so good to me? Now I will overcome that sin;’ and I get strong to fight with sin through the conviction that I am God’s child.’’

Jesus has opened the way into God’s presence and that way is never closed for the believer. He provides perfect reconciliation with God (2 Cor. 5:18-19), and He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation (v. 20), because of His matchless grace (v. 21).

Jesus is the way, and He has come to you. There is nothing to do, except believe on Him. You receive Him by faith.

Jesus not only shows men the way; He is the way. No man comes to the Father other than by way of Jesus. As the “way” Jesus is the only link between God and sinful man. To know Jesus is to know the Father. John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” God cannot be seen in the literal sense. He is spirit (4:24). The Jewish people would count it as an article of faith that no man has seen God at any time. But to know Jesus fully is to "see" the heavenly Father. His followers really know God in an intimate personal experience.

No other way

In our day it is so radical because everyone wants to worship many gods. Everyone wants to think there are many ways to God, but there is not. There is only one way and that is by way of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ spans the infinite distance between God and the sinner. It is impossible for sinful man to manufacture a ladder to climb up to God through prayers, tears, penitence, resolutions, rededication, self-help, pop-psychology, and etc. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). The sinner could not go to God, but God in the person of His Son came down to sinners, and He is our only way to the Father. He is the way to the Father in heaven.

I remember reading a story in the news about a ferryboat that capsized at Zeberuze. 

A bank official who stretched his 6'3'' frame into a human bridge and saved 20 people emerged Monday as one of the heroes of the Zebruze ferry disaster.

A group of passengers sitting in the corner of the vessel, were cut off from the safety of a small island of metal by a 6 ft. wide cascade of water that rushed in after the ferry turned over on its side. It was too big for people to jump across. One of the men told reporters, "I just made sort of a bridge with my body."  His wife said, "I was the first one to climb across and I stepped on his back. . . I was petrified!" Another passenger said, "When you climbed on him you had to jump and the floor was slippery with water.  All the people in our corner over there got over through his human bridge. Otherwise we couldn't have gotten over across that space."

Once across the gap the 20 people reached the small island of safety to which the rescuers had thrown a rope.

The man who used himself as the bridge said he stayed behind for about an hour and half helping people climb the rope to safety. People were screaming. "My daughter thought she was going to die." She said, "Mommy, if I did something wrong, I didn't mean to do it."

That is what Christ did for you and me. He built the bridge with His body on the Cross. As the Son of God He could span the extremes of man's sinfulness and God's righteousness and offers to us the hope of forgiveness and eternal life. There is only one avenue to God. He alone can lead us to Himself.

JESUS IS THE TRUTH

Jesus Christ is the full, final and complete revelation of God. Jesus is the truth. “I myself am the truth.” “I and I alone, and no one else am the truth.” Jesus is the actual embodiment of the truth. He is the authoritative representative and revealer of God. He hears what the Father says and does what the Father tells Him to do (5:19; 8:29). You can paraphrase John 14:6, “I am the way that reveals the truth (about God) and gives life (to people).”

Confused world

Jesus Christ is the very reality of all God’s grace toward us sinners. Grace and truth could not merely be given. It actually came through the living person of Jesus Christ.

You don’t need a free book from the cults, or a “corrected” version of the King James Bible from the cults. Adam believed the devil’s lie, and men still believe it to this day. The reason is because fallen man has his spiritual senses darkened. The apostle Paul said, “being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart” (Eph. 4:18). The truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the truth. As He reveals the Father He exposes our sin and unbelief, for  “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).

Men have exchanged the truth about God for a lie (Rom. 3:7; 15:8; 1:25). But the very truth of God resides in Christ. He is “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), and is the source of grace and truth to men (v. 17). Truth is God’s very reality revealing itself in Jesus. Truth is knowledge of God through Jesus Christ (John 8:31f). To have the Truth is to have eternal life (17:3).

God of truth

Have you humbled yourself and bowed down before Him who is the Truth—eternal Truth? The emphasis in this great statement is not just truth as opposed to a lie, reality as opposed to mere illusion, but His faithfulness, reliability, trustworthiness, sureness. Jesus Christ is the "God of truth" (Ps. 31:5; Isa. 65:16). Absolute truth is characteristic of God, and it is only as we know God that we know truth. It includes the complete reliability and the complete integrity of God. He will certainly act in accordance with the highest conceivable integrity and righteousness. 

Without Christ men are under the power and influence of the devil, who is the father of lies. Christ, on the other hand, is Himself the truth about God. “He that has seen Me has seen the Father.” Without Christ men are without truth and are still in their trespasses and sins.

Jesus tells us that a true knowledge of the Father can only be obtained through a true knowledge of the Son. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (John 14:7). If the Son is truly known, the Father is truly known. We can know the Father in so much as we know the Son, and no farther. “Christ was more than an appearance of God; He was "God made in flesh." He was the Only-begotten, who fully declared Him. He is the God-man. He is full human and fully God. 

Truth incarnate

The emphasis is on the fact that you can know Him so clearly that it may be said you see Him. The work of the Holy Spirit is to take the things of Christ and show them to the believer. The disciple of Jesus, Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us” (v. 8). Jesus said, “He that has seen Me has seen the Father” (v. 9). In seeing Jesus Philip is seeing God. He is the One in whom God can be found because He is the end and the goal. There is no use looking anywhere else. The truth is “I and the Father are one” (10:30, 38).

Philip said, “Show us the Father.” Christ replied, “Have you not known Me, Philip?” “Philip, don’t you know who I am?” What Philip desired was right there before his eyes. The glorious revelation of God was right there before him. The Word, made flesh, was tabernacling Himself before men, and His glory was “the glory of the only-begotten of the Father” (John 1:14, 18). As the apostle Paul declared, “He was the visible image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:16). “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven” (vv. 19-20). “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (2:9).

In John 14:10-11, Jesus explains and illustrates further: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.” Christ was in the Father and the Father was in Him. This was the most perfect and intimate union between the Father and the Son. Both the words and the works of Jesus were a perfect revelation of Deity. Jesus spoke and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast. When Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth,” he that was dead came forth alive. Only God can do that.

Every time Jesus opened His mouth to say something, it was the Father who spoke through Him. There was perfect union between the Father and the Son. When Jesus spoke, every word and utterance was truly His; but what He said and the words He employed were the Father’s own thought and speech. The two speak as one because they are one, Jesus in the Father, the Father in Jesus.

Do you seek the truth? “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” (v. 11). “Believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him” (10:38). What is our response? “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).  

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

JESUS IS THE LIFE

Jesus is “the life” for all who will repent and believe on Him alone for salvation. He alone delivers us from death. Christ is the Emancipator from death—physical, spiritual and eternal. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).  “I myself,” this divine Person in our flesh, “I myself am the life.”

The natural man is spiritually dead. He is lifeless. Everything revolves around I, me and mine in the natural man’s life. He is alive to the world, but dead to God, and the things of God. He has earthly existence, but he is dead spiritually. However, Jesus promises to raise the dead. He gives life, eternal life, to all who will call upon Him. The life Christ gives is God’s life, therefore that life is eternal life. This truth gives the believer great assurance because we can no more perish than can God the Father can. If you have eternal life you cannot loose it because it is "eternal." 

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24). The apostle John wrote: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (3:36).

Jesus promised “eternal life” to all who believe on Him. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).

Jesus came that you may have His kind of life. He alone is the giver of life because He is its source. We must turn to Him who is the Life if we want abundant life.

Physical existence matters little; the only life worthy of the name is that which Jesus brings to life, because He is “the life.” Jesus is the real and living way of life.

“Life” in the Gospel of John is characteristically “eternal life” (3:15). It is the gift of God through His Son. He came that men "might have life and have it more abundantly" (10:10). He died that men might have everlasting life and not perish (3:16-17). Only those who come to Him and eat His flesh and drink His blood have life (5:40).  Only those who see the Son and believe on Him can have life (6:40). He is the living bread that gives eternal life (6:51). He said that He had power to lay down His life and to take it again (10:18). His resurrection proves that He did just that. When He gives life men will never perish (10:28). As Lord of life He raised Lazarus from the dead (11:25-26; 14:6). Just as the Father who “has life in Himself” so does the Son (5:26). The whole Gospel of John is about this "life" that the Son gives to those who will call upon His name.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” Jesus is not only the way to God; He is the truth of God because He is the embodiment of God’s self-revelation. He is the life of God. He is "the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).

Jesus does not just show us the way to the Father; He is the way to the Father, the only way. Access to the Father’s house in heaven will only be through Jesus and no other person. He is the only one who can lead us to the place He has prepared for us. The way and the truth, and the life come to a focus in the one phrase, “through Me.” Jesus is the means.

JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).  The Father is on a divine mission in the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. Moreover, John 14:10 says the Father is living in Him. “I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?”

“No one comes to the Father but through Me.” Christ is the only way to God. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

Those words are exclusive, but not necessarily offensive, because they state precisely our greatest need. God in His matchless grace stepped in and provided what we could never provide for ourselves. That is good news.

He offers to each of us this new life. All that He requires is that we receive Him by faith. There is nothing to achieve, no self-help programs, no self-improvements to be made, no lessons to learn. He simply asks us to believe on Him. Accept Jesus Christ and what He claims to be—the way to God, the truth about God, the life of God. Believe on Him as receive the free gift of eternal life.  

It is almost as if Jesus states the fact, “I am, the way, the truth, the life” and then restates it saying, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” “I alone am the one by whom people go to the Father.”

Let it be clearly stated and proclaimed: Jesus Christ is the only way by which men and women may come to the Father; there is no other way. That is not being impolite, or politically incorrect, or intolerant; it is simply stating an absolute truth.

We must keep clearly in mind that the one who makes this claim is the incarnate Word, the revealer of God the Father. There is no other authoritative, legitimate, absolute truth about God. Jesus Christ, the Word is God's only avenue of communication with lost mankind. He is God incarnate. We have no legitimate knowledge of God and no other approach to God apart from what He has said. This is why the Word became flesh and lived among us. God's life is incarnate in Jesus Christ. There is no other source of eternal life.

What we decide to do with that life determines our eternal destiny.

SOME ABIDING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

When you behold Christ, you behold God.

If you do not have faith in Christ, you do not have faith in God. In Jesus Christ you see God. If you have not seen God in Him, you have not gone to the heart of Christianity. We see in Him God fully manifested.

Alexander Maclaren said, “. . . in the man Jesus, men know and see ‘the Father’ as they never did before. The Cross and the Passion of Christ are the unveiling to the world of the heart of God . . . . It is the dying Christ that reveals the living God.” Then he ads:

. . . . He is your way to God. See that you seek the Father by Him alone. He is your Truth; grapple Him to your hearts, and by patient meditation and continual faithfulness enrich yourselves with all the communicated treasures that you have already received in Him. He is your Life; cleave to Him, that the quick Spirit that was in Him may pass into you and make you victors over all deaths, temporal and eternal.

Now that you know the truth, what do you chose to do with Him? 

The sad truth is it is possible to spend your whole life studying about God and never experiencing Him. What will you do with these words of Jesus? He is the truth and this truth gives life. Do you meditate on Him day and night? He is the source of eternal life. You will not find satisfaction in the opinions of men, but in the living Word of Truth.

Thomas a Kempis wrote centuries ago in 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 never-ending life. I am the straightest way; the sovereign truth; life true, life blessed, life uncreated. If thou remain in my way thou shalt know the truth, and the truth shall make thee free, and thou salt lay hold on eternal life."

In the Son you see the Father. There is no other way to see the invisible God. To know the Son is to know the Father.

Jesus does not merely point the way as a guiding light; He is the Way. He does not just teach us truth about God; He is the Truth. He does not represent only one avenue that leads to God, He is the only way to God. He does not just model a good life; He is the Life. The end of our human quest for God is Jesus Christ. God has shown Himself, and has spoken in Christ. What need is there for anything further? God Himself was in Jesus Christ. They both share in the same substance, or essence or being. To see one is to see the other. God is like Jesus Christ.

God was fully present in Jesus Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor. 5:18). Have you experienced His reconciliation?

If you remove Jesus Christ, and the way, the truth, and the life are gone; no way, no truth, no life are left. Acts 4:12; John 3:36; Mark 16:16,” declares Lenski. “All hope of God and heaven outside of Jesus is vanity and worse. ‘Except through me’ is absolute and final.”

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Title: John 14:6-9 Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life
Series:  Life of Christ

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey College, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries for ten years. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Honduras.

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