I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
In 1996, as a long-term employee of the Baptist Sunday School Board, I was asked to serve on a committee to find a new name for our organization because the current name did not communicate the essence of our ministries. The decision to change the name and adopt Lifeway Christian Resources, based on this verse, was not an easy one. The actual process required a lot of research, collaboration, prayer, and meetings which took more than two years to complete.
The context of this passage is that Jesus is comforting His disciples by describing His Father’s house in heaven. He said that He is going to prepare a place for them, that He will come back and take them there, and that they already know the way to where He is going. Thomas confessed that they did not know where Jesus was going, so how could they know the way? Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
In answering Thomas’ question, Jesus used metaphors to describe Himself and His ministry:
• “Way” speaks of the link between God and mankind.
• “Truth” reminds us of the complete reliability of Jesus in all that He is and does.
• “Life” stresses far more than mere physical existence. It is the abundant, eternal life that He came to bring to all who receive Him.
The second part of this verse, “No one comes to the Father except through me,” has recently become a source of controversy in Christian theology. In our culture of inclusiveness, some have found it difficult to accept that the only way to God is through Jesus. They argue that this appears to exclude all other religions, so it cannot be true. However, if we understand that the Bible is the word of God, this verse, spoken by Jesus, is true and is clear. He is the way to our salvation and eternal life because of His sacrificial death and resurrection.
Sources: The NIV Disciples Study Bible and www.lifeway.com.
Jim Shull was born in Elizabethton, TN, graduated from the US Naval Academy and spent 5 1/2 years on active duty in the Navy. He retired from Lifeway Christian Resources following a 30-year career. Jim and Carol Ann have two sons — Jason (Katie) and Jared (Mohana) — and four grandchildren, including Natalie and Mary, who grew up in our church. Jim joined NFBC in 1970, has served as a Sunday School teacher for 30 years, and is a life deacon. He and Carol Ann and are co-directors of the Encouragers Department.
Hymns & Worship Songs:
- “O Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life” (CGH 522)
O Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life,
be with us now, we pray;
Direct our steps as we go forth to
do your will this day.
- “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” (CGH 497)