Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life
October 29, 2023

Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life

Passage: John 14:1-7


For the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at several statements that Jesus makes in the gospel of John. John records seven specific statements Jesus has made about who He is, and so far we’ve considered five. Jesus has said, “I am the bread of life,” “I am the light of the world,” “I am the door [of the sheep],” “I am the good shepherd,” and “I am the resurrection and the life.” Tonight we’ll be looking at Jesus’s 6th statement in John 14 - "I am the way, the truth, and the life." So please turn in your bibles with me to John 14. We’ll be reading John 14, verses 1-7. But before I read our text, please pray with me.


Troubled Hearts

Jesus’s disciples – his followers – they’re upset. Their hearts are troubled. Why? Well, Jesus has told them that he’s about to leave them.

On one level, the disciples are upset because they’re losing their dear friend, and their teacher. Yet on another level, this is upsetting because they don’t understand what Jesus is doing. See, the Old Testament had predicted God would send a special king to save God’s people. And the disciples recognized that Jesus was that king, the Christ. The disciples expected that Jesus, as the Christ, would overthrow the Roman empire and establish Israel as a free, never-ending political state.

After all, the time seemed right! Just a few days earlier, Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem as crowds cried, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” Surely this was Jesus’s opportunity to overpower the Romans with astonishing plagues and miracles. Surely this was the time that Jesus would permanently set up his throne in Jerusalem.

But this wasn’t Jesus’s plan at all. In John 13:33, Jesus tells his disciples, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you…” In other words, Jesus isn’t sticking around to build a presidential mansion. He’s leaving. And for Jesus’s disciples, this doesn’t make sense. How can Jesus be the great king of God’s people if he’s going to leave them? Where is Jesus going? All at once, the disciples here are filled with a hundred doubts and questions about Jesus, and about life in general.

There are times in life when you and I may go through something similar. Jesus’s words may sometimes confuse and perplex you. The way Jesus works in the world may be different from what we expect or want – and all of a sudden a hundred doubts and questions may pop up that weren’t there before.

I can’t address every possible question you might have tonight. But I want to press home the comfort that Jesus gives us here in the text. Through him, we may not all the details about what he’s doing or why he’s doing it, but in Christ we will know the way to have life with God. And I hope to show this from the text under three simple points tonight. The points come straight from John 14:6 – Jesus is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. And Jesus is the Life.

Jesus Is the Way

So first, Jesus is the Way.

It makes sense to ask: Where is Jesus the way to? Well, back in verses 2-4, Jesus explains that he’s on his way to prepare a place for his disciples in his Father’s house. The problem is that Jesus’s disciples don’t understand where or what the Father’s house is. So in verse 5, Thomas asks, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

Jesus answers them in verse 6: I am the way. Specifically, Jesus is saying he’s the way to the Father – he’s the way to God. This is why he reiterates at the end of verse 6, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Notice here, Jesus doesn’t advertise himself here based on our consumer preferences. He doesn’t say he’s the way to entertainment and good vibes. He doesn’t tells us he’s the way to health, wealth, and prosperity, even though that’s what a lot of people are looking for. He doesn’t even say, “Follow me, because I’m the way to positive self-image and freedom from anxiety.” Instead Jesus puts all the frills and gimmicks aside, and tells us what’s legitimately worth our time. Jesus tells us that He’s the way to God!

Notice, then, what Jesus is saying by this. First, if he’s the way to God, that means that humanity isn’t already, automatically connected to God. There is a separation between where people are now and the destination where people can experience the fullness of his presence. Second, Jesus is saying that He’s the way to God. He’s not one of many ways, but he is the one-and-only. And the way to God isn’t “Jesus + our good works,” or “Jesus + our feelings of sincerity or sorriness.” Rather, Jesus is the only way to God, and the way to God is only Jesus, unassisted by anything we would try to add.

But for many people, having access to God doesn’t mean anything significant. They’re content chasing after money, beauty, power, romance, self-improvement, self-indulgence, physical strength, mental health, and things like these. There are even plenty of people who go to church because they want friends, or because they like the music, or because they like the cultural experience, but at the end of the day they don’t care about God.

But Jesus is challenging the human race here, and our priorities. The reason God isn’t a priority for a lot of people isn’t because there’s something defective in God. God isn’t broken. We are. 100% of the problem is our problem. People don’t yearn for God because we’re infected by a poison of the soul known as sin. Sin separates us from God. It makes us radically self-centered. We should be falling down on our face, thanking God for every breath, for every sunbeam, for every ability he gives us – but in our sin we instead despise God and dismiss him as worthless. For as long as we remain in our sin, the way into a right relationship with God is closed.

But here Jesus says there’s a way to God – a way to be accepted by Him – to be close to him. And Jesus is the Way. As Jesus speaks to his disciples here in verse 6, he knows that in a few short hours he’ll be going to the cross. And what will Jesus do on the cross?

He’ll bear the sin of his people and break sin’s power over them. He’ll die in their place, so they won’t have to die. And he’ll ascend to the presence of His Father so that his people, too, may rise and enter into the presence of God.

Jesus wants his followers to understand: he has not come to overthrow the enemy named Rome, but to overpower sin, death, and the devil. And he will go, not to sit in a Jerusalem throne, but to sit down at the right hand of His Father in heavenly glory. And by virtue of this work, Jesus is the Way to the Father.

Jesus is the Truth

Jesus also tells us that he is the truth. And this is important in light of Thomas’s question in verse 5. “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Thomas seems to be especially vulnerable to doubt – we see that both here and at the end of John 20. His attention is currently occupied with what he doesn’t know. And he wants Jesus to give him reason for confidence. Jesus, how can I know the way? Can you give me an explanation? Can you give me evidence?

But notice what Jesus does in response. He tells Thomas, I am the way, and the truth… Jesus tells Thomas, “You can know that I’m the way, not because I’ve given you a complete explanation – not because I’ve given you concrete evidence right now – but you can know that I’m the way because I’m also the truth.”

When Jesus says that He’s the truth, He doesn’t just mean that he’s generally trustworthy. Instead he goes far beyond that. Jesus is saying that He is the revealed truth concerning God the Father. If we know Jesus, then we know the pure, ultimate picture of who God is in truth. He isn’t just a messenger for one of God’s true messages, but is himself truth personified, enfleshed – visible and tangible.

When it comes to religion, many people are content to say that we can’t know who God is. That we’re stuck in the darkness – that my guess is no better than your guess, and vice versa. But God has shone his light in to our darkness – he has spoken into our confused world of a million wrong opinions, and He has given us the truth about who He is. He has given us Jesus.

No other voice speaks the truth with more authority than the voice of Jesus. And this is why we should believe him – this is, in fact, how we can know that He’s the way to heaven – not because we reasoned out how it makes sense in a convincing way, not because it feels right in our heart – but Jesus is supremely trustworthy just because of who He is.

Jesus is the Life

He is the way, he is the truth, and we come now to the third part of Jesus’s statement – Jesus is the life.

We have already seen that Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life,” indicating that Jesus is a means by which His people can gain sustained life. Jesus has said “I am the resurrection and the life,” pointing to Jesus’s role in overpowering death, and having indestructible life after resurrection. And now, for a third time, Jesus declares that He is the Life. And in this context, Jesus seems to be envisioning the life – the eternal life – that he shares in common with the Father.

In verse 7, Jesus alludes to the oneness he shares with the Father. He announces it directly in the middle of verse 9: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” So when Jesus speaks about life here, he’s speaking about eternal life – the life of God that never diminishes or disappears. This is the life that Jesus, as the Son of God, enjoyed in eternity past. This is the life that Jesus will enter into when he ascends to heaven. And this is the life that Jesus is inviting his disciples into for ages without end when they come to the Father.

It’s worth noting here, the quality of life Jesus offers here isn’t just better because it’s never-ending. Eternal life would actually be miserable if we spent it running continuous marathons, or working in a sweatshop. But the life Christ offers here is actually worthwhile because it’s lived out in the near presence of God. Imagine spending your whole life, living on a 2-dimensional plane, and suddenly you’re invited to step out and live in a 3-dimensional world. The life Christ invites us into will be similarly richer and deeper, because we’ll no longer be estranged from God, but will have the opportunity to daily behold His glory.

Jesus has demonstrated, through His resurrection from the dead, that He truly is the Way out of death into life with the Father. He is who He says He is – the way, the truth, and the life. We can trust the authority of His Word. Just as surely as Jesus now lives and reigns at the right hand of the Father – we too truly have a way into lasting life in God’s presence. So as we close, let’s pray that this truth will help our troubled hearts and promote our belief in Christ.

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