In previous blogs I have covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). We are now covering the ‘I AM’s’ of Jesus. Jesus came to reveal the Father and show the way to salvation. Over 20 times in the Gospels He uses the declaration ‘I am’ in explaining who He was. In so doing He was affirming His divinity and His relationship to mankind. The next of these is ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life’.
There may be many religious beliefs in the world today. It has been a nicely carried out plan by the enemy of our souls to bring confusion and division. To cause cultures to adopt beliefs based on folklore, superstitions or some vision of men. Usually these believers have to ‘earn’ their right to salvation by doing good works.
I am going away to prepare a place for you
Other religions may have good values attached to them and may even do good deeds in the community, but Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’. Preceding this statement in John 14, Jesus had been speaking to His disciples concerning His soon departure from them. He said, ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God, believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me. In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.’ It must have been very confusing to them. They had finally found the long-awaited for Messiah. Everything they had in the world had been given up to follow Him. They had hung on every Word He had spoken for days on end. Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?’ and so He said to them, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’.
Jesus says He is the way
How many of us have felt lost? Not just going the wrong way and needing a satnav. But lost in the sense that we have no real inner direction. We’re not sure what route to take in life. Jesus says He is the way – so follow Him. How do we follow Him? By studying His Words and being led by His Spirit. If He is the truth, then He is no liar. If other religions claim to be the truth, then they are against Him. Truth today may claim to be subjective to one’s feelings or opinions. But real truth is absolute. And real truth is a Person and His name is Jesus.
Yesterday we covered the statement of Jesus being the resurrection and the life. Today He is the way, the truth and the life’. He is life. Death is as far from Him as the East is from the West. Death could not keep hold of Him. Having been killed on earth as a sacrifice for us, He rose from the dead. Conquering death forever through Himself and for all who believe on Him.
Henry says – Christ, having set the happiness of heaven before them as the end, here shows them Himself as the way to it. He says, “You know”, meaning, “It is not of some secret thing, but one of the things revealed. You do not need to ascend into heaven, nor go down into the deep, for the Word is close to you (Rom. 10:6-8), level to you.” “You do know”, you know that which is the home and which is the way, though perhaps not as the home and as the way that you have known previously.
Christ knows the good in us
Jesus Christ is willing to make the best of his people’s knowledge, though they are weak and defective in it. He knows the good that is in them better than they do themselves, and is certain that they have that knowledge, and faith, and love, of which they themselves are not attune to, or not certain.
Thomas replied with, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, to what place or what state, and how can we know the way in which we must follow You? We can neither guess at it, nor enquire of it, but must still be at a loss.” Christ’s testimony concerning their knowledge made them more aware of their ignorance, and more inquisitive. Thomas here shows more modesty than Peter, who thought he could follow Christ now. Thomas here seems more concerned about knowing the way.
They did not know where Christ was going, because they dreamed of a temporal kingdom in external pomp and power. We are more in the dark than we need to be concerning the future state of the church, because we expect its worldly prosperity. Whereas Jesus promises spiritual advancement. Had Thomas understood that Christ was going to the invisible world, the world of spirits, to which spiritual things only have a reference, he would not have said, ‘Lord, we do not know the way’.
No man comes to the Father but by Me
Thomas had enquired of where He was going and what was the way, and Christ answers both. They knew him, and He was the way; they knew the Father, and He was the end. Therefore, ‘where I go you know, and the way you know’. Believe in God as the end, and in Me as the way (John 14:1), and do all you should do.
I am the way, and I only, for no man comes to the Father but by Me. Great things Christ here said of Himself. Christ is the way, the highway spoken of (Isa. 35:8 And a highway shall be there, and a way and it shall be called the Holy Way. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for the redeemed). Christ was His own way, for by His own blood He entered into the holy place (Heb. 9:12 He went once for all into the [Holy of] Holies [of heaven], not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us). He is our way, for we enter by Him.
By His doctrine and example He teaches us our duty. By His merit and intercession He obtains our happiness, and so He is the way. In Him God and man meet and are brought together. We could not get to the tree of life in the way of our innocence, but Christ is another way to it. By Christ, as the way an interface is maintained between heaven and earth, the angels of God ascend and descend. Our prayers go to God, and His blessings come to us by Him. This is the way that leads to rest, the good old way. The disciples followed Him, and Christ tells them that they followed the road, and, while they continued following Him, they would never be lost.
The doctrine of Christ is true
He is the truth. Christ is the true manna (John 6:32 it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread), the true tabernacle, (Heb. 8:2 in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord). As truth is opposed to falsehood and error, the doctrine of Christ is true doctrine. When we enquire for truth, we need to learn no more than the truth as it is in Jesus. As truth is opposed to fallacy and deceit, He is true to all that trust in Him, as true as truth itself, (2 Cor. 1:20 For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]).
He is the life, for we are alive unto God only in and through Jesus Christ, (Rom. 6:11 Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus). Christ formed in us is to our souls that which our souls are to our bodies. For He is the resurrection and the life.
Christ is the beginning, the middle, and the end. In Him we must set out, go on, and finish. As the truth, He is the guide of our way, as the life, He is the end of it. He is the true and living way (Heb. 10:20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies)). There are truth and life in the way, as well as at the end of it. He is the true way to life, the only true way. Other ways may seem right, but the end of them is the way of death.
Know God in Him
No man comes to the Father but by Me. Fallen man must come to God as a Judge, but cannot come to Him as a Father, unless by Christ as Mediator. We cannot perform the duty of coming to God, by repentance and the acts of worship, without the Spirit and grace of Christ, nor obtain the happiness of coming to God as our Father without His merit and righteousness. He is the high priest of our profession, our advocate.
He speaks of His Father as the end (John 14:7): “If you had known me correctly, you would have known My Father also. So by the glory you have seen in Me and the doctrine you have heard from Me, you know Him and have seen Him.” Here is an inferred rebuke to them for their dullness and carelessness in not acquainting themselves with Jesus Christ, though they had been His constant followers and associates. If you had known Me–. They knew Him, and yet did not know Him so well as they should have known Him. They knew Him to be the Christ but did not follow on to know God in Him.
If they had known Christ aright, they would have known that His kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world. That He came down from heaven, and therefore must return to heaven. Then they would have known His Father also. If we knew Christianity better, we would know spiritual things more naturally.
Let me tell you, “you know Him, and have seen Him, inasmuch as you know Me, and have seen Me”. In the face of Christ we see the glory of God, as we see a father in his son that resembles him. Christ tells His disciples that they were not as ignorant as they seemed to be, for, though little children, yet they had known the Father, 1 John 2:13.
Happiness of a soul consists in the vision and fruition of God
Many of the disciples of Christ have more knowledge and more grace than they think they have. Christ takes notice of, and is well pleased with, that good in them which they themselves are not aware of. Those that know God do not all at once know that they know Him. (1 John 2:3 And this is how we may discern [daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments).
Philip’s enquiry concerned the Father (John 14:8 Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father—that is all we ask], then we shall be satisfied), and Christ answered him, John 14:9-11 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me?. Philip’s request was for some extraordinary discovery of the Father. From an earnest desire of further light, he cries out, ‘Show us the Father’. Philip listened to what Christ said to Thomas, and attached upon the last words, You have seen him. “No,” says Philip, “that is what we want, that is what: Show us the Father and it sufficient for us.” This he begs, not for himself only, but for the rest of the disciples.
Though Philip did not mean it, yet here we are taught that the satisfaction and happiness of a soul consist in the vision and fruition of God,” (Ps. 16:11 You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore). It is in the knowledge of God the understanding rests and is at the summit of its desire. In the knowledge of God as our Father the soul is satisfied. A sight of the Father is a heaven upon earth, fills us with joy unspeakable. Yet Jesus replies, he that has seen Me has seen the Father. Will you ask for what you have already?
I am in the Father and the Father is in Me
Philip, the first day he came to Him, declared that he knew him to be the Messiah (John 1:45 ‘We have found (discovered) the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about—Jesus from Nazareth’), and yet to this day did not know the Father in him. Many that have good knowledge in the scripture and divine things fall short. Many know Christ, who yet do not know what they could know of Him, nor see what they should see in Him.
Christ expects that we should not always be babes. “Have I been so long a hearer of sermons, a student in the scripture, a scholar in the school of Christ, and yet so weak in the knowledge of Christ, and so unskilful in the Word?”
All that saw Christ by faith did see the Father in Him, though they were not suddenly aware that they did so. In the light of Christ’s doctrine they saw God as the Father of lights. In the miracles they saw God as the God of power, the finger of God. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ’s life, and in all the acts of grace He did.
See what we are to believe: That I am in the Father, and the Father in me (John 10:30), I and my Father are one. He speaks of the Father and Himself as two persons, and yet so as one. In knowing Christ as God of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten and not made, and as being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made – we know the Father. Seeing Him, we see the Father. In Christ we behold more of the glory of God than Moses did at Mount Horeb.
In Him He dwells
We are to believe it for His Word’s sake: The words that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself. (John 7:16 My teaching is not My own, but His Who sent Me). What He said seemed to them to be speaking His own thought at His own pleasure, but really it was the wisdom of God. We are the believe for His Works’ sake: The Father that dwells in Me, He does them. Therefore believe Me for their sake. The Father is said to dwell in Him by an inseparable union. Never had God such a temple to dwell in on earth as the body of the Lord Jesus, (John 2:21 But He had spoken of the temple which was His body). The fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily, (Col. 2:9 in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]). The Father so dwells in Christ that in Him He may be found, as a man where He dwells. Seek ye the Lord, seek Him in Christ, and He will be found, for in Him He dwells.
He does the works. Many words of power, and works of mercy, Christ did, and the Father did them in Him. The work of redemption in general was God’s own work. As we are to believe in God through the works of creation, which declare his glory. So we are to believe the revelation of God to man in Jesus Christ through the works of the Redeemer.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
This is the way: walk in it This is the way No other choice Let your heart And soul rejoice. This is the way, walk in it Not for you, the ways of men The lessons learned May have to be learned again. Can you hear His call behind you? Do you recognise the voice? If you do, you will indeed Have much cause to rejoice. Listen the Lord is speaking to you. Be still, if only for a minute. “This is the way, the only way”, He says “have faith, don’t run, walk in it”. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, I declare that You are the way, the truth and the life. I want only Your way in my life. Teach me Your ways and show me Your paths. Reveal to Me the truth in Your in Word. May I be mature in the application of Your Word. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!