“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Read: John 13:31-14:7
In his gospel, John records seven “I am” statements. With each statement, Jesus teaches us a fundamental truth about his own uniqueness and necessity. He is the bread of life (6:35, 48, 51), the light of the world (8:12; 9:5), the door of the sheep (10:7, 9), the good shepherd (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), the way, the truth, and the life (14:6), and the true vine (15:1).
The “I am” statement that is in our passage today is a three-for-one special. Jesus tells his disciples that he is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” following that statement with sentence about the exclusivity of salvation through him: “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus revealed this truth the night that he is going to be betrayed. Judas has already left the Passover meal to finalize his plan to betray Jesus (13:30), so all who are left in the Upper Room are Jesus and the faithful eleven (with possibly some other faithful disciples like Matthias [Acts 2:21-23]). Jesus, knowing that his time is short (13:31), takes this opportunity to tell his disciples that though he is going to leave them soon, their hearts should not be troubled (14:1). Though they are about to witness their Lord—the One they know is the Christ and the Son of God (Matt 16:16)—be betrayed by one of their own and murdered by sinful men, they do not have to fear or lose heart. They must continue to believe in God and believe also in Jesus (14:2). Though it will seem like Satan has won, the Father is still in control and the Son is perfectly fulfilling his role as the lamb that takes away the sin of the world (1:29). This “I am” statement by Jesus is key in His effort to equip his disciples with confidence when he must leave them to return to the Father’s side. During the next three days, as well as the decades they will be suffering for the sake of the Gospel, they can be assured and encouraged that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The Way. Jesus is the road or the path…but to where? To the Father, for no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. There are no exceptions. Mankind was created to worship God (Isa 43:21), but our biggest problem is that we are a fallen race, infected with sin, and therefore unable to enter into the presence of God (Ps 5:4-5). This truth was built into the very structure of the tabernacle and the temple in Jerusalem, displayed by the curtain that separated the Most Holy Place, which contained the Mercy Seat—God’s throne on earth—from the people.
As the sinless God-man, Jesus was able to stand in our place as our representative and bear the full wrath of God against our sin. When Christ died, the curtain was torn, symbolizing that through his blood he made a way for his people to finally be able to stand in the presence of God. As the foot washing of the disciples illustrated, Jesus washes believers clean from the filth of sin that covers them, making them able and fit for the presence of God (John 13:8; Heb 6:19-20; Eph 2:13-18). Therefore, if anyone wishes to be with the Father, following down the path of life where there is the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps 16:11), they must travel through the way that Christ made.
The Truth. Jesus is the truth. Truth is foundational, objective, it does not change, and it sets men free (John 8:32). God is truth and seeking worshippers who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). If one wishes to fulfill what he was created to do, he must do so in truth, and that truth is found only in Christ. Christ is the perfect image of the Father (14:8-11; Heb 1:1-4), He only does what he sees the Father doing (5:19), speaks the Father’s words (14:10), is the only one who knows the Father and who can reveal the Father (Matt 11:27), and has revealed the only way to the Father, which is Christ himself. As with the way, a person has to know the truth, which is Christ, if they wish to truly know and be loved by God (14:7).
The Life. Jesus is the life. All people are born spiritually dead in Adam (Eph 2:1). But where Adam brought death, Christ brings life (Rom 5:17-21). Jesus is the sole source and provider of spiritual life. As the Good Shepherd he laid down his life that his sheep might live, and as the door to the sheep, his sheep pass through him to have life—and have it abundantly (John 10:7-15). Do you desire to live? Then you must go to Christ.
The message is clear: “No one comes to the Father except through me.” If you haven’t yet trusted in Christ as your Savior—believing that on the cross he took on your sin and died in your place, then rose three days later in victory thus securing your eternal life (14:19)—then today could be the day of your salvation (2 Cor 6:2)! Trust in him! If you have already believed, then don’t lose heart in this world. Though it will batter you; though Satan’s fiery darts will fly; though doubts may rise—you can live a life of faith with confidence that you are secure in the way, the truth, and the life, and that you are bound for the Father’s side.
Discuss and Pray Together: Discuss these three truths about Christ and how they fulfill their purpose of alleviating fear in the believer and giving them confidence. Finish by praising God through prayer for the gift of his Son and the salvation that he has provided through him.