Monday, April 15, 2013

I am the way, the truth, and the life

I am the way, the truth, and the life.


Gulf Fritillary
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father 's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?  Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.
––– John 14:1-8
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Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1  In the upper room, Jesus was in the process of telling His disciples what was about to happen to Him.  He had told them that He was going to be betrayed, denied and crucified. Naturally, they were not pleased to hear that news.  The still did not understand the the process.  They could not grasp the mission of Jesus.  They believed that He was the Messiah, but they did not understand why He must die.  They were troubled over the news.  They were having a difficult time digesting the news that Jesus had told them.  Jesus urges them to stop being troubled. He instructs the disciples to use their faith in Him and His mission to replace their fear.  In the hours before Christ faced the cross He was  emotionally and spiritually supporting His disciples, rather than they supporting Him.  They are worried about the departure of Jesus.

The Greek word used here for believe is pisteuo.  It means to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing). Pisteuo, is to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in of the thing believed to credit.  This means to place ones total trust in another.  In the New Testament, pisteuo is used 248 times. This word is found more than 90 times in the Gospel of John.  Many people then and today believe that Jesus had miraculous powers, but they do not believe in Jesus Himself.  John 6: 23–26   Others, then and now,  believed in a political Messiah, but not in the One who suffered for their sins.  Mark 15: 32  We must believe and trust in the Jesus in the Son of God who sacrificed His life for our sins. Galatians 1: 3, 4

In my Father 's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  John 14:2-3  My father's house refers to heaven. The many rooms would refer to dwelling places within heaven.  The rooms do not refer to small dwelling spaces, but are to keep consistency in the metaphor of heaven as God's house.  Jesus will return again.  This is not a reference to the resurrection of Jesus, but to His return to earth to reign as King. Jesus will prepare a place for His followers in His Father's house and then come to take them home to be with Him.  these places have already been prepared for those who follow Christ.

And you know the way to where I am going. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?  John 14:5   Jesus has spent the evening in the upper room preparing the disciples for His death. Thomas, however is perplexed. "How can we know the way?" asks Thomas.  Jesus, answers Thomas with this "I AM" - "ego eimi" statement: Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 Through His death and resurrection, Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus is also the truth and the life. As truth, He is the revelation of God. As life, He is the communication of God to us.

Christianity began with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Church history began on the day of Pentecost. The name Christians, was a pejorative term.  It was first used in Antioch as an insult to those who followed "the Way."   Acts 11:26  Prior to that, the early Church called themselves followers of "the Way".  Acts 9:2  Acts 19:23  Acts 22:4  Acts 24:14   Acts 24:22  Jesus was the Way, and that is who they followed.  Belief alone, was not important unless it resulted in a way of life.  Following Christ  was having a new life and following in the Way.  Jesus is the way to God, the way to the kingdom, the way to faith.  Jesus is the I AM.  He is the door, and the bread of life.  Jesus is the narrow way that yields to life today, that yields to eternal life, that is access to the abode where God resides.  Matthew 7:14  His followers were known as those of "the Way."  Jesus is the one way, He is the way that fulfills the Old Testament symbols and teaching.  Jesus is the only way to God. Today the world believes in pluralism. Pluralism is not true.  The Church cannot buy into the inclusive theology that all people are going to the same place.  there is only one path, one way.

 Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.  John 14: 8  Philip asks Jesus to show him the Father.  Philip says, If You show us the Father, that's all we really need to know.  Philip has been with Jesus for all these years and it doesn't seem to have been enough for him. He has witnessed all the miracles Jesus has done. He has seen incredible things. But he still is not satisfied, he wants more.  We want the same thing Philip asked for.  We want to see God. We went to be able to see him like Moses did.  We want to walk with him in the garden, as did Adam and Eve.  If we see the invisible God, it will be sufficient for us. If we see God, it will be easier to believe in God.   It will be easier to obey Him.

 Jesus rebukes Philip. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.  John14:7  Jesus patiently explained again that He was revealing God the Father to them.  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father ? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. John 14:9-12  Jesus tells Philip that he is talking to God the incarnate. This is a solid claim by Jesus to His divinity.

Jesus says that He does not make this statement on His own authority. I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Jesus was saying that He spoke and acted for God because He was in God and God was in Him.  There is a complete mutual indwelling of the Father and the Son, and the converse is true.  The Father and the Son remain distinct persons within the Trinity, as does the Holy Spirit, and the three of them still constitute only one Being in three persons.  How exactly Gods one divine nature is a unity of three distinct but not separate persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, cannot be fully explained by human logic or reason.

Jesus as the truth fulfills the teaching of the Old Testament and reveals the true God.   John 1: 17 Truth in today's world is not important.  Truth in today's world is thought to be relative. Truth is what ever you want it to be. One cannot argue over truth. Your truth and my truth might be different. Getting along with others is more important.  Truth however, is not relative. There is an absolute truth.  If you want to know the absolute truth, go to Jesus. Jesus is the Truth.

 Jesus alone is the life who fulfills the Old Testament promises of life given by God.  Jesus alone is life.  Jesus has life in himself.  John 1:4   Jesus is able to confer eternal life to all who believe in Him.  John 3:16    Without Christ there would be no life at all.  Without Him there would be no physical life. Without Him there would be no spiritual life.  There would be no eternal life.  Jesus is Life.   ... in Him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28  Christ brought all people into being.  All life exists only by the providence of God.



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