The Bible tells us that Jesus is the way to eternal life and salvation. He said in this scripture that, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” So this makes it pretty clear that if we want to find the road to eternity, we need to recognise that Jesus is the way.
This passage begins with an interesting conversation and questioning between the disciples and Jesus. If we look at the first two verses we gain a better perspective and understanding of why Jesus is the way and what He wanted the disciples to understand. The disciples puzzled over Jesus words because they were thinking in the physical rather than the spirit.
4 And you know the way where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”
Roadmap to Eternal Life
Consider for a moment if you want to go some place you have never been before, and it is a difficult place to get to because you don’t have any idea how or where you are going. Let’s use a human example and say you want to climb Mount Everest.
First you need to prepare what you will need for the journey. You will need to carry all of your food, water, clothing, accommodation, cooking gear and so on. But doing all this is nothing but preparation. You need to do this so you don’t fall away along the way, but it does not move you a single step towards the goal of reaching the top of Mount Everest.
So how will you find the way? First you need a roadmap to get you to the mountain. Then to begin the climb you will need a good, reliable guide. You will recall perhaps that even Sir Edmund Hillary, who was an experienced mountain climber, took along Tenzing Norgay who was an experienced guide to help him reach the top and to show him the way.
Jesus is The Way
And it is no different for the Christian. If we want to “climb the Everest of Christianity” we too need an experienced guide. We too need someone to show us the way so that we do not go off the track and fall down a crevasse and be lost.
And this is where Jesus comes in for Jesus is the way. He is not showing and guiding us along physical paths but the spiritual road to the top. He is teaching and guiding us how to live our life in the spirit rather than the flesh. He is showing us how to put off the passions, desires and deeds of the flesh that lead to sin, and how to replace them with the faith and truth that lead to righteousness, holiness and eternal life.
But Jesus is the way in more ways than just as a simple guide. He is also the doorway or gateway through which we enter the kingdom of God. In the second half of verse 6 in this section he says,
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
First we see that Jesus is the way and then we see that the only way to come to the Father is by coming through Jesus. He is the door and the gateway to the Father. He makes this plain over in John 10:7-9 saying,
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
9 I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
It is quite clear here that Jesus is the door through which we enter the kingdom of God. Jesus is the way we come to the Father and the way that we enter the kingdom of God is through accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by faith and through baptism.
Baptism into Jesus Christ is the doorway through which we pass from death to life in Christ. In baptism we die to sin, die to the law and are dead to this world. Through baptism we die with Christ but are also resurrected with Him as new creations to live our life free from sin and free from the law so as to please God.
This is how and why Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
Follow the Leader
The key to being a disciple of the Lord is to follow Him. Just as Hillary followed Tenzing who guided him up the slopes of Mount Everest, we too must follow Jesus as our guide to find the way, the truth and the life that is in Him.
We cannot find the way alone for as Thomas said in verse 5, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” He was correct in what He said if he was looking to find the way alone and without Jesus as the guide. Which is why Jesus then told Him the He was the way and thus the guide that would lead them to find the way, truth and life.
But it is incumbent on someone who does not know the way to follow the guide or they will get lost. Do you think Hillary would have reached the top of Everest if he had run off ahead of Tenzing? He did not have Tenzing’s knowledge of the paths and the dangers on the mountain, so he would likely have been lost.
It is the same for us. We must not run off ahead of Jesus or we too may be lost. We need to follow the leader who will guide us to the destination He has prepared for us.
It is interesting that when Jesus called the disciples he said, “Follow me.” He did not say “Walk with me” which would indicate an equality between them. But in saying “Follow me” Jesus established the roles of teacher and student, master and servant and guide and follower.
And this is how we ought to think. Jesus leads and we follow. When we run off ahead of Him, as we try to do sometimes, we get separated from Him and end up lost and alone. But when we return to Him and follow His lead, then we progress as we move forward in Christ.
Jesus is the way. There is no other way to the truth and eternal life. There is no other way to the kingdom of God. So let us hold fast to this knowledge and follow Him as He leads us where He wants us and takes down this road that leads to life with Him and the Father.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Vangelis Thomaidis)
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