Summary: Sixth of a seven week series on the "I Am" sayings of Jesus
We all know that the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years after they escaped from Egypt. Some claim that is because even in Bible times, men wouldn’t stop to ask for directions. But fortunately for us, in the account we’ll look at this morning, Jesus’ disciples weren’t afraid to ask Jesus for directions. And as a result of their questions we find that Jesus reveals Himself to them in the sixth of seven “I am” sayings that we find in John’s gospel account.
As we continue our journey through that gospel account, we come to a crucial pivotal point in chapter 13. After Jesus washes His disciples' feet and they celebrate the Passover meal together, Judas leaves to betray Jesus. From that point forward through the end of His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus is focused 100% on preparing His followers to be able to carry on after His impending crucifixion.
To me that is absolutely amazing. Jesus knows that He is about to suffer the most humiliating and painful death imaginable and He is already beginning to experience the heavy burden of all the sins of mankind being laid upon Him. But instead of being preoccupied with His own worries, He spends His final moments here on earth encouraging and equipping His followers. So it is no wonder that John begins this entire section of his gospel account with these words:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
John 13:1 (ESV)
With that in mind, let’s begin reading this morning near the end of chapter 13. You can follow along as I begin in verse 36:
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
“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?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
John 13:36-14:11 (ESV)
This morning we’ll begin by determining what Jesus does for His followers as the way and the truth and the life. And then, as we’ve done each week, we’ll focus on how that ought to impact the way we live our lives each day.
WHAT JESUS DOES AS THE WAY AND THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE:
1. As THE WAY, Jesus enables me to go to God
Both Peter and Thomas indicated that they did not know where Jesus was going. But that is certainly not because Jesus hadn’t revealed that to them. Not only had He just told them that He was going to prepare a place for them, but Jesus had previously spoken frequently of the fact that He had come from the presence of His heavenly Father and that He was going to return to His Father:
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38 (ESV)