Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – Jn. 14:6 NIV
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Jesus Christ, because of his imminent departure from the world took it upon himself to comfort his disciples by letting them realise that he was departing to go and prepare a place for them in his father’s house, adding that if it were not so, he would not have said so. He wanted them to believe him just as they believe the Almighty God, who is his father, that he was going to come back for them so that they could all be together with him in the same location, since they already know the way to where he was going – Jn. 14:1-4.
It was this last assumption of Jesus Christ, that they know the way, that the disciple Thomas was reacting to when he countered, probably on behalf of the other disciples, that it was impossible for them to know the way when they do not even know where he was going. The response of Jesus Christ to this reaction by the disciple Thomas is the foundation scripture for today’s devotion. In that response, Jesus Christ refers to himself as The Way, The Truth and The life adding that no one can get to the father without going through him.
Going by the question of Thomas, it is obvious that until that moment in time, the disciples did not understand or refused to understand all that Jesus had been trying to communicate to them about his imminent departure. They probably did not want to even imagine, more so, accept the fact that he was not going to be around, not after they had been with him for 42 months and living a life of authority, honour and comfort, so they chose to deny the truth that was becoming more of the reality as the days go by.
Jesus Christ in his response identified where he was going by telling him he was going to the father. The word “father” would not be strange to them since they were most likely adherents of the Jewish religion before becoming disciples of Christ. They were used to the Almighty God bring called Abba, which means father. Like most people today, they know this father was residing somewhere in the clouds, called heaven, but did not know the specific location of that heaven. Jesus Christ had told them he knew that location since he was from there in the first place and it was to the same place he was going – Matt. 11:27. With the stories that have been heard about this location and the greatness of the chief occupant of that location, it was natural for anyone to be desirous of being there and the disciples were no exception. Jesus Christ, aware of this announced himself as the solution to their curiousity, except that he makes them understand that it is not a location that can be arrived at by everyone. No one was going to get there without knowing him as The Way, The Truth and The Life. So what did he mean by introducing himself in this manner.
Jesus being The Way seems to be the most direct of the three introductions. He implies that he is the route through which people must pass as any other route will not lead to the father. Using the word “Way” as a noun, he sees his teachings and his life style as the example that all must follow in order to qualify to be in that location. Whoever was going to qualify to be in that location will model his/her life style along his way of living. For that to happen, such will have to know how he lives his life and that, he believes the disciples already have achieved, which is why he told them categorically that they know The Way – Jn. 14:4. The use of the definite article “The” makes this option very exclusive. There was no other option outside this option. It was either they modelled their life after his and make it to that location or they miss the location entirely. Same applies to anyone today who plans to be in that location. Such must know his way of life and model his/hers along that pattern for there to be any chance of towing the way to that location.
Whoever chooses to live his/her life along the pattern that Christ lived his, will be growing in the knowledge of The Truth. Jesus had in one of his teachings let the disciples know that it is their knowledge of truth that will set them free – Jn. 8:32. This was a follow up statement to the Jews, who had listened and believed all he had told them, that if could hold on to those teachings, they would have known The Truth which would then be their key to freedom – Jn. 8:30-31. It was not sufficient to just know his way of life, or hear about it regularly or even accept it for a season, they had to make it a template and hold on to it till the end, for them to be in that location. To hold on to the truth that Christ represents will be to make it a permanent model for one’s life. Again, preceding “Truth” with the definite article “The” indicates that there is only one and no other option. So it is either this lifestyle or no other.
The Christian today should thus be able to know whether he/she will get to that location after a honest self assessment to determine which pattern of life he/she chose to live, even after knowing The Way.
Following the lifestyle that Jesus lived remains the only way to bring life back to a soul that is dead, due to sin. He said, he is The Life because it is the living in that life style that assures that. Not him, but his manner of living, his principles regarding life and the practical application of all his teachings. That is why his physical absence will make no difference as his departure does not take away his teachings and with him leaving the Holy Spirit, the acquisition of more of those teachings does not cease with his departure – Jn. 16:13. The use of the word “The” also emphasizes the fact that, there is no other solution to sin and death except knowing his teachings and applying them to one’s life. Any other option will fail.
Give your Christian life a meaning by not just following him like you are following a friend on social media. You will need to follow him to know him in his full entirety since he is The Way, believe and apply all that he is saying and doing and deciding to model your life after him by using his life as a standard since he is The Truth. That is when you can have access to The Life that comes through him. Your entire claim to being a Christian will be meaningless if you are not with him in that location when he returns to take his people. Do all you can to be there by being honest in your aspirations and he who sees your heart will perfect your imperfections so you can be with him where he is. May that be your portion in Jesus name. Amen.