Posted January 13, 2014
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Could more bold words be found on Jesus’ lips? Jesus gives us three incredibly strong (and exclusive) words about His identity. The ESV Study Bible stated it this way:
“Jesus as the one way to the Father fulfills the Old Testament symbols and teachings that show the exclusiveness of God’s claim (see note on 3:18), such as the curtain (Ex. 26:33) barring access to God’s presence from all except the Levitical high priest (Leviticus 16), the rejection of human inventions as means to approach God (Lev. 10:2), and the choice of Aaron alone to represent Israel before God in his sanctuary (Num. 17:5). Jesus is the only “way” to God (Acts 4:12), and he alone can provide access to God. Jesus as the truth fulfills the teaching of the Old Testament (John 1:17) and reveals the true God (cf. 1:14, 17; 5:33; 18:37; also 8:40, 45–46; 14:9). Jesus alone is the life who fulfills the Old Testament promises of “life” given by God (11:25–26), having life in himself (1:4; 5:26), and he is thus able to confer eternal life to all those who believe in him (e.g., 3:16). This is another “I am” saying that makes a claim to deity (see note on 6:35).”
Note that Jesus uses the word “the” vs. “a” in this statement. Jesus never said, “I am a way, a truth, and a life.” This wouldn’t be a well-received message in a Western culture today… It sounds too intolerant and narrow-minded. And yet we must deal with the fact that Jesus said it. Are you lost? In Jesus, find the way. Are you caught up in lies and deception? In Jesus, dig your teeth into the truth. Are you dead? In Jesus, find the life.
In case we missed it or want to skirt the exclusivity issue, Jesus tops it off with an additional statement: “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Who is excluded from Jesus’ statement? No one. This verse should come with great joy but also great weight. Joy because through Jesus, we come to the Father! Weight because this should break our hearts and fuel our desire to see neighbors and nations come to the Father through the Son. Do you want to know and come to the Father? Look to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life!
Song by Joel Limpic, Ryan Gikas, & JD Raab.
Group vocals by Anna Brawner, Phil Miller, & JD Raab.
Production by JD Raab.
Artwork by Tim Krause.