When I was first asked to write about this verse I thought to myself “It’s pretty self-explanatory isn’t it?” Maybe on the surface this is true. I mean we know that He is the way. We know that He is the truth. And we know that He is the life. Seems simple, but as usual once I started to dig in I learned that there is so much more to this than what we read on the surface. I love this verse. All we need to know is in this verse. There is so much profound truth to be gleaned from scripture if we just go a little deeper. I think it will work best if we break this verse down a little at a time.
“I am” is something we commonly use in a sentence when we are talking about ourselves. It’s no big deal. It doesn’t have any other significance than indicating who it is that is doing whatever it is that they are doing. This was not the case in Jesus time. The word He most likely used is Ehyeh. This word doesn’t just mean I am. It is the word used by God to say “only me”. Rabbinical scholars consider this to be the first person version of Yahweh. When Jesus says I am He is declaring that He is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth and the ONLY giver of life. He is declaring his identity as God. It’s a very controversial and bold statement. And we see it having incredible power over and over again in scripture.
How do we get where we need to be? Jesus. That’s the straightforward answer and it’s the ONLY answer. He is the way to the father. He is the road that needs to be taken. Isaiah 35:8 says “And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not wander astray.” That’s Jesus! He is the highway that Isaiah is talking about. Jesus fingerprints are all over Isaiah, it’s beautiful. All we have to do is follow The Way. Before verse 6 Jesus is talking about how He has to leave and Peter wants to go with Him. So this is Jesus giving us a roadmap. “You want to go where I’m going Peter? Know this. Follow this map I’m giving you because I’m the only one that can get you there.” That is just awesome! He’s not only giving Peter and the disciples directions and instructions he’s given them to us. Thank God! How can we ever live outside of having a grateful heart when we have a God that loves us so much that He’s given us step-by-step instructions!
Truth is relative. Truth is just whatever you want to believe. Truth doesn’t exist. Truth can be different for everyone. And my favorite, what’s true for you isn’t necessarily true for me. These are the things that we hear in our society these days. Don’t be fooled. If you are truly following “THE way” then you know that there is something (or in this case someone) that is “THE truth”. There is absolute truth and it is Jesus. There is no other God that can get you into Heaven. There is no other way and there is no other truth. See the thing is that by very definition truth cannot change. It cannot be different for everyone. Truth is defined as the quality or state of being true. We could get wrapped up in a lot of philosophical, logical thinking here and start using the “if’s” and “then’s” but let’s just leave it at this; not only has Jesus given us a roadmap. He has given us the only correct roadmap. It’s like when you’re a kid in Sunday school and the teacher asks a question and the answer is ALWAYS Jesus. Do you know why the answer is always Jesus? Because the answer is always and only ever, Jesus. He is not “a truth” He is “THE truth”. The only truth.
People like to say things when they go nice places, fancy places, beaches, ballrooms, when they have nice things like champagne, jacuzzis in hotel rooms. And they say things like “Oh yeah! This is the life.” Or “Life is good!” I find it funny actually. I find it funny because that is almost the exact opposite of the life that Jesus is talking about. Are those things nice? Sure they are, but that’s not the life. That’s not the right map. The life is Jesus. Before we meet Jesus we are dead; dead in our sins and dead in our hearts. Have you ever met one of those people that are just exciting and you go and you do all kinds of things together, the kind of things that you’ve never done before? You want to start doing more things you’ve never done before. I think Jesus was one of those kinds of people. He showed the disciples what life is really all about, real life. Real life consisted of praying, loving, helping, healing, talking, eating, and traveling and I am pretty sure there had to be a good amount of laughter and joy. Sound familiar. Sounds a little like the same life that I said you weren’t promised right? The big difference, the life IS Jesus. It wasn’t just surrounding Him. He wasn’t just the cool guy to be around. It wasn’t just that He was taking these guys on adventure after adventure (even though He was and I am certain it was AMAZING!) It was so much more than that. No one on the planet had walked with God since Eden until these guys. The Life came back to Earth to give LIFE. In John 10:10 Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.” This is the life you are promised. Chainless, free from condemnation, grace-filled, every day is a miracle, life! The life actually IS Jesus. Without life there is only death. Without life you miss the last leg of the road trip. The life is where your heart comes in. You can know the way and the truth without having the life. From this point forward in the journey it’s totally a heart thing. This is the part where you become a new creation. You have been given new life. You are now by his great mercy “born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation” ~1 Peter 1:3~
Jesus gave us the map. He showed us the way to go. He told us the facts we needed (Truth). And He gave us the life to be able to make the journey. We are set! The road is long and sometimes it’s hard, but it’s an adventure. And it is the only true life! It is the only path to walk on. He is the rock of our salvation, the Way of Holiness. The road is paved. Walk it. He’s there with you, the path under your feet to guide you, the strength you need to endure the long way, and the hand you hold to remind you, don’t be afraid. He is all we need for the journey. Just make sure when you go on the journey, take your heart with you. Or better yet leave it in the hands of Jesus.
Jesus is Our Life| Written by: Jaime Meeks