I am the way
By Philip Budd
In answer to the question posed by Thomas, (John 14), “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through me”.
The one thing that Jesus was not was politically correct. It might be said that Jesus was either preposterously arrogant, or totally correct, or mad. There is no room for doubt or dissemination in what He says. Never mind up to date liberal sentiments, which would have us believe that He is not the only way to the Father, (or even that there is no need to seek the Father), Jesus states unequivocally, “I am the way”, that no other belief or relationship can bring us through to where every person in the world needs beyond anything else to be. It is essential to understand that He never said,”I follow the way”, or “I have discovered the truth”, or “I am living the life”. I am. The answer to Moses’s question as to the name of God the Father.
Jesus goes further. “I am The Truth”, He says. It seems that any other way, any other belief, any other Saviour that the world can put forward is falsehood. No matter that it consists of “doing good” to other people or revelation through the use of a pair of gold spectacles or words from an angel from behind a sheet, or decades of meditation sitting on top of a rock, or in a cave, or even more decades of thought and experiment with cutting edge Science. Where any of these, or any other, contradicts what Jesus has said and the Holy Spirit has revealed, the result is falsehood and eventually misleading.
Christians, of course, understand that many of these things have plenty of good in them; “Love one another; love your neighbours as yourself; medical and other sciences, and so on. But none of them are, as they say, “The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth”. In a secular court of law nothing else is acceptable. Christ applies this description most completely to Himself.
And then He goes even further. Jesus does not suggest that these first two are all that needs to be said on the subject. Jesus is calling us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven; not a place, as in ordinary terms, but a state which begins when we accept Christ as our Saviour. This way of living, “I am the Life”, extends forward into Eternity, and backwards into this life; “The Lord will restore the years that the locusts have eaten”, even strongly suggests that entering the Kingdom is a matter of our whole lives, not merely starting half way through it. A visit to a prison to speak to criminals who have found Jesus will show this to be wonderfully true.
It is clear, also, that the Lord is offering the opportunity to anyone to live the life He lives now, in close communion with the Father, and accompanied by the Holy Spirit; there are many places in the Bible where this idea, that the Kingdom of Heaven is a matter of close communion with the Father, is ours for the asking; You look them up!
Lastly, it seems to me that the “Life” that Jesus speaks of, is not restricted to communion with the Father, but is a matter of closeness to each other. When Jesus commanded that we love each other, “as I have loved you”, he was speaking to His disciples, and inviting us to share the same Love and closeness that Jesus and His Father, with the Holy Spirit, share with each other and with His children.
Definitely the best offer going!