The Gospel of John
I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
1. John concentrates Jesus’ core teachings in chapters 14, 15, and 16. Then in chapter 17 is the “high priestly prayer”, followed by the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in chapter 18.
2. Found in the focus of verses 1 through 14 is perhaps the most famous of the “I Am” sayings, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus does not speak of a way or a path. No, He is the path to the Father and eternal life; there is no other.
3. Jesus, as expressed in the opening verse, is concerned that His disciples will be discouraged and depressed by His death and ascension. He urges them to continue to believe in Him.
4. Though He is departing, He is making a place for them. To use the word “place” is somewhat misleading since heaven is not a place. It is not in heaven where we find God. Rather, it is in God we find heaven. (Remember: a time is coming when the universe will no longer be.)
5. Not only that, but Jesus Himself will take them to that place.
6. Thomas interrupts Jesus (we see here an account of an actual conversation) by asking how would they know the way to this “place.”
Now we find the I Am saying. Jesus alone is the way to the Father.
7. To know Jesus is to know the Father and to know the Father is to know Jesus. “Know” means to have fellowship and communion with the Triune God, to actually be in the presence of God.
8. Philip now interrupts Jesus by asking Jesus to “show us the Father.” Jesus mildly rebukes Philip by reminding him that by seeing Him a person has seen the Father. (The mystery of the Trinity indeed!)
9. Jesus now turns to the “works” His disciples are called to. They will do greater works, meaning a mission to others far beyond that tiny sliver of land they dwell in presently.
10. These “greater works” are based upon their reliance on Jesus’ name, that is, upon who He is and what He has done. “In his name” is not a magical formula. The “asking” must be in accord with the will of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.