Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

John 14:6

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The Original Intent

1) How can Jesus be the way and the truth?

John 14 opens with Jesus telling His disciples of His impending departure to prepare a place for them. He assures them in verse 4 they know the way to where He is going, but His disciple, Thomas, is confused, “We don’t know where you’re going. How can we know the way?” (John 14:5)

Instead of answering Thomas’ question with explanations of His upcoming death and return to heaven, Jesus tells His disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) In a nutshell, Jesus is telling His disciples the summation of everything He has taught them over the last 3 years they have been together.

His statement gives His disciples the all-important information on how to get to Heaven and be right with God. Having total access to the Father is only found through Jesus. What He is about to do for them by dying on the cross will bring them eternal life. In all clarity, He is revealing the truth they are searching for is Him. He is the answer to every question they have.

The Expositor’s Greek Testament tells us, “Thomas craved knowledge sufficient to guide him in the present crisis. Jesus says: You have it in Me.” In this pivotal moment before His death, Jesus lets His disciples know He is the Way because He is not only their example to follow in living life, but their bridge to the Father. He also promises them He is not only telling them the truth, but He is the truth.

As author Randy Alcorn asserts, “Jesus is the source of all truth, the embodiment of truth and therefore the reference point for evaluating all truth-claims.”

We can be grateful that God provides the Way and the Truth in the person of His Son, Jesus.

The Everyday Application

1) How can Jesus be the way and the truth?

If there were ever a time when people seem confused about the way and the truth, it is today. Our culture teaches truth is relative and there is not just one way to get to heaven.  We are told to find our own way in life and make our own truth. This has left many of us feeling lost and confused. God has provided for such a time as this in His Word.

He told us in John 14:6 that He Himself is the way and the truth. For those of us trying to forge a path through the chaos, He tells us He is the way. He says something similar in John 10:9, where He tells us “I am the gate. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved. . .”  Hebrews 10:19-20 refers to Christ’s sacrifice for us as a “new and living way” to draw near to God. He also reassures us He is the truth. Jesus tells the Jewish believers in John 8:32-36, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

He later explains what He means by saying, “if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.” Jesus, the Son of God, is the truth who sets us free.  We can know the truth, and the truth is a person: Jesus! He made a way for us to draw near to God by His death on the cross, and His life and teachings show us how to live our lives. 

He is the truth we need, shining the light of His Word in every dark place we encounter. (Psalm 119:105)

The Original Intent

2) What does it mean that Jesus is “the life?”

When Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), He is telling His disciples they can find truly abundant life, at present and eternally, only through Him. He is the life because He is the link to life everlasting due to His work on the cross. (John 3:16) 

Because Jesus, wholly God and wholly human, gave up His life as payment for our sin then conquered death by rising from the dead, He justifies all who come to Him and offers His eternal life to them when they surrender. Similarly, in John 11:25, Jesus tells us He is “the resurrection and the life.” We also see in 1 John 5:11 that God offers us eternal life through the life found only in His Son. Not only is Jesus the life because He is the pathway for eternal life, but He is also the life because He gives us spiritual life here on earth.

We read in John 1:4In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”  When we have the life of Christ living in us, He gives us the light that comes only from Him. Author John Ritenbaugh notes that “Jesus’ life gives us firsthand knowledge of what the true way of life is, allowing us to cooperate with Him in His purpose.”

God gives us the power to follow Christ’ example of a life lived well. We can love like Jesus (John 15:9), care like Jesus (Mark 6:34), pray like Jesus (Luke 5:16), relate like Jesus (Matthew 7:12), and disciple like Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20), when we surrender our frail lives for His full one.

We can live a glorious life here on earth, following Christ’s example by the power of His Spirit living within us, while we look forward to eternal life in heaven one day.

The Everyday Application

2) What does it mean that Jesus is “the life?”

Have you ever looked up from a binge-watch session, surrounded by food wrappers and soda cans, and thought, “I gotta’ get a life?”. The thought is that you need something better to commit your time and energy to.  It is easy and enjoyable to have some down time, but ultimately, we each crave a meaningful life. The good news is that when we have life in Christ, He gives us a life with meaning.

Jesus tells us He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) He does not only show us how to have a good life; He Himself is life for us. He came to earth so we could have abundant life. (John 10:10)  1 Corinthians 15:22 tells us that in Christ all are made alive. If we want to live a life that fulfills us, we need to live our life in Christ. Not only will He fulfill us here on earth, but He offers us this fullness and satisfaction in overflowing endless measure all the way into eternity. (1 John 5:11)

This certainty of our coming hope provides peace and comfort when things don’t seem to be going our way. Even when things are tough, God is still teaching us, growing us (James 1:2-4), and even working all difficult things for our eventual good and His glory. (Romans 8:28) 

The Original Intent

3) Why must we come to the Father through Jesus?

When Adam and Eve sinned, they changed the relationship dynamics God had designed to share with all of humanity. They could no longer enjoy daily intimate interaction with God because their sin separated them from God. God’s plan to bridge that gap between man and God was the man Christ Jesus, God’s Son.

Jesus, as God the Son, would take the sins of all people on Himself, although He was sinless, and cover their sins with His perfectly righteous blood as a sacrifice to pay the penalty of our sin. That redemption made a way for people to be united to the Holy God once again. There is no other way for people to access God on our own because of our sinfulness.

Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that no one comes to the Father except through Him. We must go through Christ, who is the bridge between Father God and humankind. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. All we can do is believe in Jesus and accept God’s free gift of access through His Son.

Author Craig von Buseck notes, “In every other religious system besides Christianity, a spiritual scale hangs over the head of the individual, with all of the sins they have committed on one side and all of their righteous deeds on the other.” 

With Christ, we don’t need to tally our good and bad deeds because we don’t count on our deeds of righteousness to save us (which is ridiculously impossible!), rather we rely on His mercy and grace to save us. (Titus 3:5-7)

The Everyday Application

3) Why must we come to the Father through Jesus?

In our pluralistic, tolerant society, claiming to have the definitive answer to anything is controversial. We like to say, “You do you,” and we assume we are all on different paths to the same destination.  So Jesus’ claim that “no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6) sounds jarring to modern ears.

It seems exclusive and unloving to say there is only one way to God, yet God, very lovingly, states this emphatically in Scripture. For it would certainly be quite unloving to promote all road access when it truly wasn’t! In Acts 4:12 we read, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” We also learn in 1 John 2:23 that “no one who denies the Son has the Father.” 

While it may sound exclusionary to some, God’s redemptive plan is actually open to everyone who accepts Christ’s free gift of salvation for themselves. (Romans 6:23)  Any person, regardless of race, class, gender or background, is invited to believe in Christ, repent of their sins, and accept the freedom God offers through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. (1 Timothy 2:4)

Jonathan Parnell explains, “It doesn’t matter how messed up your life is, or what mistakes you’ve made, or how dismal you see your tomorrow . . . It doesn’t matter what language you speak, or what color of skin you have, or how much money is in your bank account, if you turn from your sins and trust in Jesus, you will be saved.” God loves us all and wants us to be His children (John 1:12) and He offers that gift to all of us for free.

If you have never done so, I urge you to accept that gift today. if you are already a child of God, I urge you to share this good news with someone who crosses your path today!

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