[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered. If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you. You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you. And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]
I once read a description of the Gospel of John which has stuck with me for decades. I wish I knew where I read it so I could give proper credit. It goes something like this:
“The Gospel of John is like a pool of water that is shallow enough for a child to play in and, at the same time, deep enough for an elephant to swim in.”
John 14:6 demonstrates the appropriateness of this description. In this single verse, there is a summary of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a verse that is easy to read and easy to memorize. A simple but profound statement, like a wonderful scenic vista, easily seen and enjoyed but difficult to fully grasp.
“Jesus said to him”
Thomas. Good old “Doubting” Thomas, our rationalistic brother in Christ. The Gospel of John gives the only detailed view of Thomas in the New Testament. In three passages Thomas is shown to be a man who was not swayed by emotionalism or religion. He considered and evaluated everything based upon his own knowledge and reason. Before Jesus went to Bethany to raise Lazarus, it was Thomas who evaluated the risk of the journey and said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Thomas did not understand the meaning and purpose of the actions of Jesus but he sincerely loved him. I think the greatest failing of Thomas was not his doubt, but his focus and trust on his own reason and logic. Had he been focused on Jesus, he would have had no reason to doubt. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ transcended the logic and reason of all mankind, not just that of Thomas. After the resurrection, when he met Jesus, he declared, “My Lord and my God.” At last, for Thomas, faith had trumped logic and reason.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (John 14:1-5 ESV)
Question: Have you as a believer ever experienced a time when you did not understand why the Lord was allowing something painful in your life? How did you react? Were you focused on your own reasoning and logic like Thomas? What was the result?
Question: What is the cure for troubled hearts?
- Deep breathing exercises.
- Physical exercise.
- Religious ritual.
- Belief in Jesus Christ.
…..“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 ESV)
“I am the way, 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 shouldst pursue; the truth which thou shouldst believe; the life which thou shouldst hope for” (Thomas a Kempis, “Imitation of Christ,” iii., 56).
I Am the Way
Thomas depended upon his logic and reason to understand the way to God. Logic and reason may be enough to find the way to some place in the material universe, but it always fails to find a way in the spiritual realm.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)
God must provide the way and disclose it to mankind. Jesus is the provision and the disclosure of the Way that leads to God and eternal life.
But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
(Hebrews 10:12-14 ESV)
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places [In the Tabernacle/Temple where only the priests could go] by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, [The curtain that hid the Holy of Holiest, the place of the presence of God where only the High Priest could go once a year, on the day of Atonement, to sprinkle the blood of the sacrificial lamb upon the Mercy Seat, thus securing temporary forgiveness of the sins of the Jews] that is, through his flesh,
(Hebrews 10:19-20 ESV)
Question: (True or False) The way to God is self-denial and religious works.
Question: (True or False) Jesus is the way to God but eternal life must be secured by self-effort and good works.
Question: (True or False) In this life time, a believer never achieves the level of holiness by which he can confidently approach the presence of God with prayers and worship.
Question: (True or False) The believer needs an earthly priest to confess his sins to and to obtain forgiveness.
The Truth and the Life
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. Either of these statements is profound enough to stagger any one, but here all three together overwhelm Thomas. Jesus had called himself “the life” to Martha (John_11:25) and “the door” to the Pharisees (John_10:7) and “the light of the world” (John_8:12). He spoke “the way of God in truth” (Mark_12:14). He is the way to God and the only way (John_14:6), the personification of truth, the center of life. (Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament by A. T. Robertson
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth……For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
(John 1:14, 18ESV)
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
(John 1:3-4 ESV)
Question: (Fill in the blank) Reason and logic may determine human truth but only ________________ can make known the Truth of God.
Question: Explain “the Word” as it applies to Jesus Christ. [Not a simple question and not a simple answer, but worthy of thought.]
Question: Earthly life is a reality and its presence is easily determined by reason and logic, but its source is a mystery. Is life produced by the material universe or by something else?
Question: When Jesus claimed to be “the life”, what was he claiming? [Again, not a simple question and not a simple answer, but worthy of thought.]
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
(John 10:10 ESV)
Question: If earthly existence is the only life there is, explain the fact that Jesus came that we “may have life.” What kind of life?
No one comes to the Father except through me
Question: Does it bother you that Jesus claims to be the only way to the Father?
Question: Is God unjust and unloving for insisting only on His way into His presence when millions of people have, are, and will insist on finding their own way?
Question: if God will save only whosoever will accept His Way, who is responsible for the consequences of not accepting His Way?
“I am the way, the truth, and the life” defines the life and ministry of Jesus. It also discloses the limits of human reason and logic concerning spiritual things. Jesus is the answer to experiencing a new life with God. In this study I have asked many questions, but I have still one more, the most important one, “How do you respond to the words of Jesus Christ?” Perhaps you already have and are experiencing new life. If you have not and desire to experience a new life in Christ, pray to God, confessing your sins and asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. God will manifest himself to you in some way spiritually so that you may know that you have been accepted and now are His. Contact me and let me know of your decision and ask any questions you may have. I will be watching for your response.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
(John 3:16-19 ESV)
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.