Shielded Day 5 Wrapped In Truth: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
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The Questions

1) Why does Jesus call Himself “the Way?” 

2) How is Jesus the Truth and the Life?

3) How can knowing Jesus mean I know the Father?

John 14:1-7

“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that where I am you may be also. You know the way to where I am going.”

“Lord,” Thomas said, “we don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Original Intent

1) Why does Jesus call Himself “the Way?”
In the first few verses of John 14, Jesus tells His disciples He is going away to prepare a place for them, but they know the way to where He is going.  They are confused, and Jesus explains how He Himself is the Way.  R. C. Sproul says these verses are called the “Farewell Discourse.  Jesus delivered it on the eve of the greatest crisis His disciples would face—His crucifixion. This crisis would pass, but Jesus would also ascend to heaven, departing from them bodily. Christ had to prepare them for the dark days that lay ahead. . .”  R. C. Sproul goes on to describe how Jesus is the Way.  He says, “There is only one God and He has only one kingdom with only one entrance—Jesus Christ. Only those who rest in Christ alone for salvation will enter heaven. This message was controversial and offensive to the pluralistic pagan culture of the first-century Roman Empire, and it is perhaps even more so today.”  Jesus tells us not that He is a way to heaven and eternal life, but that He is the only way to get to Heaven.  He wanted His disciples to know that His impending sacrifice would build a bridge for them to be with Him always.

2) How is Jesus the Truth and the Life?
The Jews of the Bible believed, according to author John Gill, “that the law was the true way of life, and [they] confined truth to the law.” But in John 14:6, Jesus calls Himself, and not the law, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  According to John Lightfoot, “Our Saviour seems to refute that opinion of the Jews concerning their law, as if it were the way, the truth, and the life, and indeed every thing: and to assert His own authority and power of introducing a new rule of religion, because Himself is the way, the truth, and the life, in a sense much more proper and more sublime than the law could be said to be.”  About Jesus, John Gill says, “He is the truth of all the types and shadows, promises and prophecies of the Old Testament; they have all their accomplishment in Him.” Biblical truth, as defined by John C.P. Smith, is “utterly reliable and enduring. The reason is simple: authentic, biblical truth is inextricably linked to the dependable, unchanging character of God. You can trust everything He says; He never lies; He always keeps His Word; He’s faithful to all His promises.”  Jesus is the truth, and He speaks the truth. Jesus also calls Himself the Life. Jesus Christ is the one who gives life because He is Life.  In John 6:51 Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”  Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins so we could have life eternal!

3) How can knowing Jesus mean I know the Father?
In John 14:7, Jesus makes a bold statement by telling His disciples that if they know Him, they know the Father. They are the same. They are one. Jesus is God, but distinct in His own role as Son. In the next verse, Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father, and Jesus lovingly rebukes him, telling him that to know Him is to know the Father.  Commentator Charles John Ellicott explains that word know represents two Greek words “which are not identical in meaning. The former means, to know by observation, the latter to know by reflection. . . We may express the meaning more exactly thus, ‘If ye had recognised Me, ye would have known My Father also.’ If ye had recognised who I really am; ye would have known that I and My Father are one.”  Author Albert Barnes explains that the disciples “still retained, to a large extent, the Jewish notions respecting a temporal Messiah, and did not fully understand that He was to die and be raised from the dead.” Jesus was telling His disciples that He, as the Messiah, was one with the Father.  He insisted they should have known that He and the Father were one by virtue of His love, His mercy, His teachings, and His miracles. To know Jesus is to know Father God.

Everyday Application

1) Why does Jesus call Himself “the Way?”
Several years ago, my church started a class for new Christians and asked several of us long standing church members to sit in on the course.  On the first night, we were each asked to talk about our concept of the journey to heaven, and one man in my group said he believed there were many paths that all led to the same destination. No matter if you took the path of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam or any other religion, those searching for the truth would end up with everyone else in Heaven.  Author Chip Ingram says we are guilty of “salad bar religion,” where we “create this amazing God out of the salad bar of all religions.”  We take all the good stuff from every faith and create the god we want to follow.  But Jesus clearly asserts He is the only Way to the Father and to heaven in John 14:6.  As Author David Mathis points out, “The way is not centrally belief in certain principles and execution of particular actions, but trusting and treasuring a living person. At the heart of Christianity is not pillars to follow, but a person to know and enjoy.”  When we embrace Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for us, we embrace eternal life in the presence of our God. (John 3:16)  God’s greatest gift to us is Jesus, who is The Way to heaven.

2) How is Jesus the Truth and the Life?
It seems like our culture believes that when it comes to truth, all things are relative.  Even the concept of gender, which has traditionally been binary (male and female) is now open to interpretation.  If every person lives by his or her own truth, or perception of reality, eventually life can seem pretty unstable. When two or more perceptions of reality conflict with one another, the results can be jarring.  When I feel like the ground beneath my feet is shaking, I turn to what I know to be true: Jesus.  He declares He is the Truth (John 14:6). In John 1:14, we also learn Jesus is “full of grace and truth.”  Jesus also tells us He came into the world “to testify to the truth” (John 18:37). We also read in John 17:17 that His Word is truth.  I turn to Him because Jesus, who is the creator of all life and the giver of eternal life, is Life Himself (John 1:1-4). When I get confused or disheartened, He gives me hope and direction (Jeremiah 29:11)  When I feel lost, He guides my way (Proverbs 3:5-6). Speaking about Jesus, John Piper declares, “Original reality, ultimate reality, absolute reality is a living person.”  Jesus was reality before time began (John 1:1), and He is the same today and forever. He is a solid rock for the shifting sands of our culture.

3) How can knowing Jesus mean I know the Father?
For some people, accepting Jesus as their loving Savior is much easier than considering God as their loving Father.  Accepting the rescue of Jesus is liberating, but believing in the Father’s love can prove a bit harder for some folks, especially if their natural father was not a good and loving one.  The idea of God as a Father can provoke images of stern discipline, rejection, and shame.  But if you love Jesus, you can love and trust the Father, because they are the same.  In John 14:7, Jesus tells His disciples that if they know Him, they know the Father.  In John 10:30, Jesus proclaims, “I and the Father are one.”  He echoes this in John 10:38 when He says, “the Father is in me and I in the Father.”  In Matthew 7:11, we are told the Father wants to give us good gifts, “if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” The Father is motivated by His love for us, even in His discipline.  In Proverbs 3:11-12, Solomon says, “Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son, and do not loathe his discipline; 12 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.”  In the book of Romans, Paul tells us we have “received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” God chooses us as His own beloved children. The Father cares so deeply about us that He even knows the number of hairs on our head! (Matthew 10:29-31)  It is a comfort and joy to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves and contends for us and gave us Jesus as our Savior.

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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