Jesus: The Way, Truth, and Life
By Benjamin H. Liles
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. ~ Romans 15:2, New King James
The whole of the book of Romans is to show our need for a Savior, found in Jesus Christ. When He makes the claim, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6), Jesus isn't saying that to put us off. He's saying it to show all of us that when we choose the Father, through the sacrifice Jesus makes on our behalf, that we go from being under the curse of the law that leads to death to having eternal life with the Father.
Peter records, "The Lord isn't slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn't want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act" (2 Peter 3:9, God's Word Translation). So, if we're doing our best to be about the Father's business, doing the miracles that Jesus did - restoring His flock to the fold, then it stands to reason we're doing right by our brother.
Paul says in Romans 15:2, "His neighbor." The phrase John records Jesus says in 14:6 isn't meant to mean that we're the biggest party poopers; it's meant to show that Jesus brings the party to us if we just accept Him and His grace, which means we desire to put off sin, its effects, and to living life as Jesus would if He were in our place. But we have to have something miraculous happen within us. We have to either allow for the fact His Spirit calls to us to abandon our lives of sinfulness, having that change of heart and mind, and putting off sin and its counterpart, death.
But we also have to put it in proper context too. Jesus tells His disciples, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:1-6).
I love how the Expositor's Greek Testament says of John 14:6, "I do not merely point out the way and teach the truth and bestow life, but I am the way and the truth and the life, so that by attachment to me one necessarily is in the way and possesses the truth and the life. “The way” here referred to is the way to the Father. He is the goal of all human aspiration: and there is but one way to the Father, “no one comes,” “and the truth,” primarily about God and the way to Him, but also as furnishing us with all knowledge which we now require for life. Thomas craved knowledge sufficient to guide him in the present crisis. Jesus says: You have it in me. “and the life”; the death which casts its shadow over the eleven and Himself is itself to be swallowed up in life. Those who are one with Jesus cannot die. They are possessed of the source of the source of life."
I heard a friend of mine teaching on who all was under the curse of the Law when Jesus came. Was He also Himself under it as were the others, such as John the Baptist and the disciples as well? Or were Jesus Himself and John the Baptist the only ones to suffer? We have the teachings of Christ Jesus because of His disciples. They became His mouthpiece not just to the Middle East, but to the world at that time. Paul himself took the message of the cross through what is now Greece, Turkey, Italy making his way to where Spain is. And although he never made it to Spain as he was executed in Italy, Paul's words ended up going to Spain.
If we put off sin, we put off death. There is no way to God but through the blood of Jesus. We have to accept His work on our behalf. Jesus Christ is the way, in that extent. He is the truth in the extent that the words He spoke were the same as the Father's. For Christ Himself said, "Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does" (John 5:19, Berean Study). It means the things that Jesus Christ does and says are from the Father's own mouth to the Son.
There are some who say, "But Jesus never said or made the claim He was God's Son." I contend for this that Jesus did in fact say He was God's Son. Why else would He say, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, carrying out His work?" (John 14:10, Berean Study). To further make this point, why else would Jesus go to the cross, with all its burdens, pains, and separation from the Father?
Before He even went to experience that pain and suffering, He pleads with the Father, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42, New American Standard). Let's be real here. Can you or I do what Jesus Christ Himself did? Can we take the cross in our sinful state to reconcile man and God, the Father? Are we pleasing to God since we have blemish and stain and wrinkle? There's a reason scripture records, "But if his offering is from the flock, of the sheep or of the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer it a male without defect" (Leviticus 1:10). And again, "I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you" (Isaiah 44:22).
God calls out to us, crying out to His prize, which He created in Eden. His desire is for us even though we disregard Him. We're to be above the beasts of the earth. We're to be above the angelic host. And yet through one act of disobedience, that which is unbelief--the source of all sin--we have been separated from God. We alone usurped God's throne for our own. It is why countless prophets, and in the case of Christ's parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, cried out, "God, turn Your wrath from me --a sinner!'" (Luke 18:13, Holman Christian Standard).
By accepting the work Jesus Christ did on the cross, taking Him by faith, and living a purified life through His atoning work, we're saying, "God, I'm done living for myself. I know I deserve Your justice, but grant me mercy and peace! I am a sinner, turn from Your wrath on me! Pardon me for my sins. Thank You, Jesus, for dying in my place. You are the Son of God!" Doing that means you accept and agree Jesus is in fact the way, the truth, and the life of all men. Without Him and His work we stand all alone before a just and holy Judge. Jesus Christ is our mediator. The Holy Spirit implores on our behalf, "He is clean before You, O Judge, through Christ's blood!" And with that the Judge declares, "All charges are dismissed." And yet this only happens when we realize the weight of our sins brings death and punishment from that Judge.
Father, I stand before Your holy and great throne. I plead on behalf of those who desire to remove their sins for Your mercy towards them. They know You are just. They know You are holy. They know in their hearts they have sinned and broken Your commands. I know I have as well. Clothe me in the righteousness of the Son who bore my punishment. Allow me to keep on with the message, daily, to show these people how truly loving and merciful, how just You are. As Your word says, "For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6). I acknowledge You, O Lord. I thank You for who You are and what You can do. Turn from Your way to toward us and extend Your great mercy. I know and have heard of Your deeds, from the prophets of old to the words of Jesus Christ. Your Son is the way to You. His word is truth. And in that I want life, not separation from You. Grant me the right to be with You, to be Your child. Thank You Jesus for going to the cross on my behalf. Thank You for taking my punishment. I could not bear it as I am with defect. I pray this in Jesus' name for renewal, restoration, conforming to the word of the Lord. Amen.