The Seven “I Am’s”: The Way, The Truth, and The Life

 John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  These words were spoken by Jesus.  They were uttered the night of his arrest, the night before his death.

The words of John 13:31-16:33 form a contextual unit.  Jesus’ words, in this section, were designed to comfort, strengthen, and prepare the disciples for the tragic events which were to soon come.  Amazing: He was the one who was about to die a horrible death; yet, he was preparing others during his final night on earth!

Here is a sampling of what he said: (1) I am going away (John 13:33; John 13:36; 14:2-4; 14:28).  You will not follow me, right now (John 13:36).  When I go, you will neither see me (John 16:10, 16), nor speak with me (John 16:23).  (2) It is for your benefit that I go away (John 14:2; 16:7-15).  (3) I will not leave you helpless (John 14:16-18; 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; 16:26-27).  (4) One day, we may again be together (John 13:36; 14:3; 14:28).  (5) Remember to love (John 13:34-35; 14:21, 23-24; 15:9-10, 12-13, 17).  (6) Remember to obey (John 14:15; 14:23-24; 15:10; 15:14).  (7) You have a job to do (John 15:27; 16:7-15 cf. 17:20 cf. Acts 1:8).  (8) There will be persecution (John 15:18-21; 16:1-4).  (9) Don’t stumble (John 16:1).  (10) “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1; 14: 27 cf. 16:33).  Literally, stop letting your heart be troubled.  (11) “Believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1 ASV).  The wording is the same in both clauses.  Either both are indicative and should be rendered, “You believe in God, You believe also in Me”, or, both should be considered imperative and should be rendered, “Believe in God, believe also in Me.”  However, it should not read, “You believe in God, believe also in Me” (viz. KJV, NKJV).  The thought seems to be, “Instead of having a troubled heart, remember to trust in God, remember to trust in Me.”

The disciples had a difficult time understanding.  Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”  (John 13:36).  Thomas asked, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5).

Jesus replied: (1) I am going to My Father (John 14:2-3; 14:28).  (2) “In My Father’s house are many mansions (lit. dwelling places) if it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2).  Meaning: There is plenty of room for you there.  J.W. McGarvey remarked on the words, “if it were not so, I would have told you” saying, “That is to say, if heaven had been such limited capacity that there was little or no hope that you could follow me, I should have dealt plainly with you, and should have disabused your mind of all vain hopes” (The Fourfold Gospel, p. 660).  (3) As to how to get there: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).  (a) The Way, This is language of a road or a path to be traveled.  Watch the fact that he didn’t say “a way” but “the way”. He is not just one of many paths for man to follow to heaven. One can’t come to the Father except by Him.  Few people travel this path (Matt. 7:13-14; Prov. 14:12; 2 Peter 2:15, 21).  True Christians are of the way (Acts 9:2; 16:17; 18:25; 18:26; 19:9; 19:23; 22:4; 24:14; 24:22). (b) The Truth, It is through Jesus that spiritual truth necessary for salvation comes (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15).  The truth of Jesus’ words sets man free (John 8:31-32).  God’s truth sanctifies (John 17:17).  While one may find some truth in various philosophies and religions of the world, the truth, the complete truth, which leads to salvation, is from Jesus.  (c) The Life, Salvation and Eternal Life are found in no other (Acts 4:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 John 5:11); as he said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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