Summary: John 14:6 may be one of the richest texts in Scripture. There are some very powerful implications to John 14:6 and it is important for us as Christians to know what they are and what they mean.
November 25, 2006
I Am The Way
I am the way… what a strange thing to say…I am the way. What does that mean? Jesus says He is the way…but the way to what?
We are in part three of our mini series looking at John 14:6: “I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me.” This verse is a description of who Jesus is. Before we asked: “Who are you?” Jesus gave us an answer. He is the way.
Why does Jesus say this? Since we have been looking at this text for the last few weeks it is about time to look at the background of this text. Let’s look back a little as to the reason for Jesus’ saying this. Jesus has just told the apostles he is going to go away, and that he has prepared a place for them and that they know the way. Thomas then asks, “Lord we do not know where you are going so how can we know the way?” Jesus then responds with “I am the way.”
Thomas’s question is not a demand, he is asking and being honest which shows his humility in admitting his ignorance. Without this humility, real discipleship is impossible. The thing to note here is Jesus constantly condemned his Jewish opponents for not knowing His destination. But when Thomas does not know, Jesus answers encouragingly. Because Thomas was loyal despite his ignorance and his intentions were pure unlike those of the religious leaders. This verse, verse 6 of John 14 is really the root of all of John’s theology. “I AM the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me.” If you wanted a single dominant thought from the book of John: this would certainly be a candidate. John is always showing Jesus’ sayings as a revelation of his personal identity and his relation with the father. This verse is one of the best pictures of who Jesus is that we have in all of scripture. This verse describes tells us that we can trust Jesus because He is truth as well as that Jesus is the way to life, that He is the life, and that there is no other way. John 14:6 would be an excellent summary of who Jesus is. Short, deep, and to the point.
We talked last week about post modernity: how right and wrong is simply a relative thing. Tolerance is king. Life has choices. Options. That is what life is all about. I mean think about this: there are always choices. Heaven is a place right? There are all sorts of ways to get someplace. Jesus isn’t the only way…He is just one of a few different ways. Think about it: you can get anywhere you want to go by a number of different routes: there are so many streets and paths that you can take to get someplace. If you want to get to Wal-Mart from here you can get onto 4th and go to Rangeline. Or you can take McConnell to 7th to Rangeline. Or you can take Forrest to 4th or Forrest to 7th to Rangeline. Or you can even cut back and go up St. Louis or Connecticut, or Murphy to 15th Street or to 20th Street and those are just some of the options. Sure there is an easy way. Sure there is a faster way…but there are always options. The same is true with heaven right? Maybe Jesus is just the most direct route but there are other roads that will get you there. I mean seriously there can’t be just one way. There is more than one way to get everywhere.
So how can this Jesus say: I am THE way? Jesus must not have been postmodern. I mean Jesus doesn’t say I am A way. He doesn’t say I am one of many possible ways. He says I am THE way the one and only, the exclusive way. Somebody should have told Him that if He wanted people to follow Him He would have to offer more choices than that. I mean really…what a ridiculously obtuse thing to say.
I want you to watch something.
Ok, so the analogy is meant to be a little funny. But a lot of people view religion like this. We try to mix and match the things we like and dislike. Well…I really like that religion makes me feel spiritual so I will take that…but I really do not like it when my church asks me to do something. I really don’t like it when I have to sacrifice stuff for the kingdom of God. I mean I love that the church watches my kids for me for an hour…but I also want to be able to go out and get drunk all the time. I love knowing that I am saved, mark me down for salvation all the way…but persecution…no thanks. So I want a church like that. A church that meets my needs. I want a religion that fits around me. And somehow we take something that is all about God…and make it all about ourselves. Church is evaluated on the style of music that you like…the way the preacher talks, how you feel about the service…the vibes that I get off the people…me…me…me…well I have news for you: since it wasn’t you on the cross…its not about you. Christianity is not a route that you can take out of convenience or because it happens to fit with your way of thinking. Christianity follows Christ…and Christ is the way.