Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6
The last three of the seven emphatic I AM statements Jesus makes in the Gospel of John are made in private. The declarations that He is Good Shepherd, the Door of the Sheep, the Light of the World and the Bread of Life were all made in front of the crowds. But beginning with the Resurrection and the Life, the statements were made in private. It should not be a surprise that these fuller, deeper revelations come to those closest to Him. Even so, each statement employs a metaphor to describe His salvation work. But in each of the conversations or discourses, He also exposes us.
Sometime, read through John 13-17 in one sitting. It will only take a few minutes. Now try to imagine hearing it all for the first time. Information, doctrine, revelation, encouragement, and instruction are packed into those chapters. Seminaries offer courses on this Upper Room discourse that require weeks of intense, graduate-level study to mine the riches of what Jesus discloses. Even those are insufficient. Tucked in there is an exchange that reveals how clueless the disciples were. But in all honesty, we would be just as clueless if the Holy Spirit were not helping us out.
In the preceding chapter, Jesus had announced His betrayal, His departure, and Peter’s denial. Then comes, “Don’t be troubled by this. Yes, I’m leaving, but I’m leaving to prepare a place for you. 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 14:4-5) That’s when Jesus responds, I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. He answers both of Thomas’s protests.
Jesus’s entire mission has been to bring us to the Father. Not to heal people-although He did. Not to give us great words to live by-although He did. He came to bring lost people back to the Father, to restore the relationship we destroyed through our rebellion.
Thomas and the guys were far more focused on what Jesus’s words meant for them. How would their lives be impacted? What changes would they have to make? Not to mention, how were they supposed to make sense of all this?
Jesus draws their attention back to the kingdom work, work that He was turning over to them. “Truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
We have quite a bit in common with Thomas. Jesus says, you know where I’m going and you know the way. You know the mission you’ve been given and you know how to accomplish it. We have been tasked with bringing people to the Father. That is through Jesus Christ and His atoning work.
But too often we respond, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t know where to start. If only Jesus would be clear.
That’s kind of how Philip stalls and dodges. Well, if you would show us the Father, then we would understand. I’m waiting on a clearer revelation, on a sign. If the Holy Spirit would just make it known.
How long have we been believers? What sign are we waiting for? What prodding or prompting does Jesus still need to give?
He has given all the information, all the tools we need. I AM the way, the truth, and life. No one comes to the Father, but by Me.
The only question is, will we take that up as our mission or will we dither about the temporal impact that commission has on our life rather than the eternal impact it has on those who need to come to the Father?