Summary: When Jesus presents Himself as "The Life," What does that mean for us as followers?
JOHN 14: 6
JESUS, THE GREAT I AM: I AM THE LIFE
“Jesus said … ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’”
any exist; few live. Even among the churches of our Lord, this statement holds true. Reflecting as we do, the society within which we are immersed, we Christians have become almost indistinguishable from the inhabitants of this dying world. The most of mankind confuses existence with life; and among the churches, the situation is not much better. Existence means that one has presence in the world; life means that one rises above existence. Living is more than breathing, taking nourishment, reproducing—living speaks of vital interaction with the Author of Life.
Jesus spoke by faith when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” The Master said, “I am the Way,” when soon He would hang impotent on a cross. “I am the Truth,” He testified, when the lies of evil people were soon to prevail against Him. “I am the Life,” was spoken by one whose corpse within mere hours would lie wrapped in grave clothes in a dark tomb. How the faith of His disciples would be shaken; how our puny faith is often shaken in the face of wickedness that appears to always prevail and triumph.
Perhaps you recall the words that the Master spoke to a grieving sister when death had taken her brother. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” [JOHN 11:25]. Soon after speaking the words recorded in our text, the Master comforted His disciples, saying, “Because I live, you also will live” [JOHN 14:19]. Whenever Jesus spoke, He exuded life—not mere existence, but life.
Those who knew Him were alive in a way that they had never known previously. After He had risen from the dead, Jesus encountered two disciples walking to the village of Emmaus. After correcting their theology, the Master was taken from their sight as He blessed bread in their presence. Listen to these two men after they realised Who had been with them. “Did not our hearts burn within us when He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures” [LUKE 24:32]?
My prayer is that all who hear the message this day will be able to say with conviction, “In Christ Jesus, I am alive.” I pray that all who listen will cease existing and begin to live. Examine the Word with me, praying that together we may discover in a fresh way what it means for us that Jesus is the life.
THE LIFE IS EXCLUSIVE — “I am … the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” [JOHN 14:6]. From His words, we know that Jesus claimed that the life He offered is exclusive. Though people sometimes say, “There are many ways to God,” there are really own two ways conceivable for man to approach God. Either some action can compel God to accept people into His presence, or an individual must cast himself on the mercy of God, trusting that grace will be extended to permit him to enter into His presence. It is “do” or “done.”
Among Jesus’ hard sayings is that which reminds disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name, He may give it to you” [JOHN 15:16].
Though the language commonly employed implies that we chose Christ, in reality, no one can say, “I chose Christ.” Each Christian is compelled by truth to confess, “Christ chose me.” Peter reminded believers of the Diaspora that they “are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by being set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with Jesus Christ’s blood” [1 PETER 1:2]. Chosen by God, set apart by the Spirit and cleansed by Christ’s sacrifice—this is the felicitous situation that applies to each believer.
While many people attempt to do something to make themselves acceptable to God, we are taught in His Word that atonement for sin has already been provided. The price for salvation has been paid by Christ Jesus the Lord who gave His life as atonement for sin. Therefore, no individual can do anything to make himself or herself acceptable to God. Each one must receive the life that is offered in Christ Jesus the Lord—there is no other way to life.
Our world is readily and deeply offended by the exclusivity of God’s Good News. Ours is a relativistic world in which no one wants to appear so arrogant as to claim that there is but one way to God. However, we cannot deny the sobering warning which the Lord spoke when He informed His disciples, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”