Summary: Jesus made the claim that He is the WAY to the Father although many people claim that there are different routes. Scripture gives his claims in order that we not be deceived.
I AM the Way
INTRODUCTION: In this chapter Jesus brought out the I AM claim in a different setting. The disciples were confused and troubled. Jesus could see their anxiety in their faces. Things were leading up to the crucifixion. They may have felt they didn’t know what was going to happen to them in the upcoming days. They were losing their sense of direction. When something changes in your life you may feel that you have become disoriented. Where do you turn? What if you are not on the right path? What if the things you always believed are not that way at all/ What if?
Thomas was confused by all that was going on around him. He seemed to be the one who had the courage to speak up for the group. Jesus wanted to set their hearts at ease. He said to them, “Stop being troubled.” He spoke to them with calmness and assurance. He pointed out to them promises that they would have a place in the eternal world, that He would prepare for them, and would come again and receive them taking them to where He was going.
Thomas spoke up and said, “We don’t know WHERE you are going, and we don’t know THE WAY.” Thomas was saying, “I’m totally confused. No, I DON’T KNOW the Way, I Don’t GET IT. I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me.”
Story: A judge was interviewing a woman concerning her pending divorce. He asked her, “What are the grounds for your divorce?”
She said, “About four acres and a nice little house with a stream running by it.”
He said, “No, what I mean is what is the foundation of this case?” to which she replied, “it is made of concrete, brick, and mortar.”
He said, “Do you have a real grudge?” She said, “No, we have a two car carport and have never really needed one.”
He said, “Is there any infidelity in your marriage?” She says, “Yes, both my son and daughter have stereo sets. We don’t necessarily like the music though.”
He asked, “Has your husband ever beat you up?” She said, “Yes, about twice a week he gets up earlier than I do.”
The judge in exasperation finally asked, “Lady, why do you want a divorce?”
She said, “Oh, I don’t want a divorce. I’ve never wanted a divorce. My husband says he can’t communicate with me.”
Thomas was confused by life and felt that things were almost unsolvable, but he was not ready to give up. He was going to ask another question until he could get an answer he could understand. Jesus did not cut him off but kept explaining and clarifying things to him. The COMMUNICATION lines were open between them.
In this setting of confusion, anxiety, and troubled hearts, Jesus made the I AM claim. “I AM the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Jesus’ reply to him was PERSONAL. Jesus did not claim to KNOW the way. He said, “Thomas, I AM the way.”
How does this speak to us today at times in our life when we experience the same things as these troubled disciples? When we just don’t understand?
1. THE WAY: Thomas expressed this despair of the group by saying, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going and how can we possibly know the way to get there?”
Do you wonder the same thing in your life, “How am I going to get through this day at work?” It is said that people don’t worry about how they are going to get to heaven but how to get THROUGH the DAY. How to get through the MONTH BEFORE the money runs out. How to get through the sickness and pain they are experiencing.
One woman was crying and crying. She said, “If I could just have some peace, I could endure this.”
People are desperate to know a way out of their problems and confusion today and that is why they are trying drugs, alcohol, various religions--all in an attempt to find a solution. You might ask, “Why were these disciples so upset when Jesus was right there with them? It was probably the same as with us, “They couldn’t quite trust Him totally.”
Jesus’ reply is personal in that He didn’t just claim to KNOW the way, the truth and the life as a formula He could impart--but He actually claimed to BE the answer to human problems. Jesus’ solution is not a recipe, it is a RELATIONSHIP with Him. As we get to know Him better, we develop the trust we need to believe Him. He is the WAY to the Father because He has a knowledge of God, unmarred by human sin. He IS the Truth because the power to make life one coherent experience in spite of its ups and downs. He IS life because He was not subject to death but made it subject to Him.