Verse of the Day Devotion: John 14:6
“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
Over the next few weekdays, we will be looking at seven verses where Jesus declares “I AM”, and then gives a metaphor regarding what He is. Today, we will look at the sixth of these, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Jesus is now preparing the disciples for what is coming soon, that being His death. “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1. It is Jesus who is heading for the agony of the cross; it is Jesus who is deeply ‘troubled’ in heart and spirit. “Now my soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose, I came to this hour.” John 12:27. And He was also troubled by the fact one of His beloved disciples would betray Him. “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” John 13:31. Yet on this night of nights, when of all times it would have been appropriate for Jesus’ followers to lend him emotional and spiritual support, he is still the one who gives, comforts, and instructs. For they, too, are troubled, not because they are rushing toward pain, ignominy, shame, crucifixion, but because they are confused, uncertain of what Jesus means, and threatened by references to his imminent departure.
Jesus now gives the reason for His departure; it is to the disciples advantage. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3. The reason is now spelled out: Jesus’ departure is for the disciples’ advantage. True, he is going away, but he is going away to prepare a place for them, and he will come and get them so that they may be where he is. What more could they ask for?
Then in verse four we read, “And you know the way where I am going.” John 14:4. Jesus said they knew the way He was going; however, we see in the next verse they did not get it. “Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” John 14:5. Thomas’ question sounds as if he interpreted Jesus’ words in the most obvious way, such that it was a physical destination He was referring to. He wants an unambiguous destination, for without such a destination how can one meaningfully speak of the route there? Jesus then answers him with our focus verse, “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.
In this verse, He states three things that He is. First, He is the way. Jesus used the definite article to distinguish Himself as the only way. The idea is of a way, path or route to a specific destination. Jesus here is in essence telling them to follow Him, just as He did in their initial calling to them. He is the only route to salvation and their new home they will have with Him. And this salvation is only found by following Him. “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.
Second, He is the truth. This and the last one can be derived from the first, that He is the way. He is the truth because He is the only true path to salvation. The Jews believed that salvation came from doing the deeds of the Law. And there are many religions today who claim to have the way to eternal peace and life aside from Christ. However, there is only one way to salvation, and that is through Christ and His way which is true.
And lastly, He is the life. He is the source of our eternal life, again because He is the way to this wonderful existence. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” John 14:18-20.
In these words, Jesus was declaring Himself the great “I Am,” the only path to heaven, the only true measure of righteousness, and the source of both physical and spiritual life. He was staking His claim as the very God of Creation, the Lord who blessed Abraham, and the Holy One who inhabits eternity. He did this so the disciples would be able to face the dark days ahead and carry on the mission of declaring the gospel to the world. And this is what we are called to do as His disciples. We are to follow His ways and not deviate, gripping ahold of the truth with everything we have, and by these we have access to life forever as He does and has freely given to us.
I want to close with a quote from the book, “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis. It was first composed in Medieval Latin around 1418 A.D.
“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.”
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.