“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Verse 6 (NIV)
If you have uttered these words in a place other than a Christian gathering you may well have had a negative response or two to your statement. I usually respond with, “Jesus said it not me.” Then the debate begins. My conclusion is this: “I believe that Jesus is the creator and if he created me has the right to make the rules. Besides, he gave up his life to purchase mine.”
Many people today disagree with this. They argue that it’s wrong to make such an exclusive claim. Today everyone has their own truth and say that all belief systems get us to the presence of God. By the way, I agree, but after you get to God there is still the judgement seat and unless you come through Jesus the end is not desirable.
In this passage, Jesus makes it hard to stand in the “undecided circle” when it comes to Christianity. Each person who reads John 14 must make a decision to accept or reject Jesus’ claim. Following Christ is either the one true way to know God, or it’s not.
For some of us, this either/or choice may seem extreme. But as we consider Jesus’ words, it’s helpful to remember that he makes this statement while he is preparing to go to the cross. He knows he will be arrested this very night and be crucified the next day. Jesus is comforting his disciples in the face of his impending death by reminding them of the truth.
As he gets ready to die, Jesus wants his friends to have the assurance that he and they are doing the right thing. He will give up his life on the cross in order to open the way for us to have full life with God forever. No matter what happens over the coming days, he wants them to know that if they believe in him, they can trust that they will be with him forever. Are you trusting him for your forever?
Father, help me to find confidence in the claim of Jesus. Give me the courage to follow his teachings, trusting that he is leading the way to you. Amen.