Who Is Jesus? #6: The Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Sermon Notes (Sunday September 13th, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

 

Who Is Jesus? #6: The Way, the Truth, and the Life!

Proverbs 14:12; John 14:1-6

 

The past few Sundays we have heard some astonishing claims of who Jesus Christ claims to be. Instead of allowing the culture, the circumstances, or our feeble minds to define Jesus Christ, the solo purpose of this series of messages is to allow the Scriptures, God’s authoritative Word, to give its true witness of who Jesus Christ truly is. It is very crucial that we focus our attention on the true Jesus, who is revealed to us in Scripture. Seven times in the gospel of John, Jesus used a formula that God had used in the Old Testament to introduce Himself to Moses and to the Israelites. In Exodus chapter 3:13-14 we read, “Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” In defining Himself, Jesus used that very formula. I am! So far, we have covered 5 claims. Jesus claimed, “I am the Bread of Life; I am the Light of the World; I am the Gate for the Sheep; I am the Good Shepherd; and I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

 

The Exclusivity of Jesus’ Path

Today’s claim is even more profound and controversial. In reply to a question from Thomas, Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” This is probably the most exclusive statement ever made by anyone. In our pluralistic society and relativistic age, it sounds so intolerant, arrogant, narrow-minded and is very offensive to many people. If only Jesus had said, “I am one way, one truth, or a way of life” then people could accept it. But Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

 

The reason Jesus is the exclusive way to God is because He is the Unique Son, the Only-Begotten, the Creator, the only one who has been given the authority to have life in Himself. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” as John says in Revelation 22:13. Other parts of the New Testament echo this exclusivity of Jesus as the only Way to God, for example in Matthew 11:27 we read, “No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mortals by which we must be saved” says Luke in Acts 4:12. Jesus Himself said in John 10: 13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Jesus is that Narrow Gate. Jesus is that Narrow Road or Way. Exclusively! To get to our destination, the Father’s House, we must follow Him and Him only.

 

Let’s now look at this six statement from John 14:6. As we do so, I trust that the Holy Spirit will encourage and comfort our souls. We can but only scratch the surface of these profound statements. What does Jesus mean by these three descriptors – the way, the truth, and the life?

 

First: I am the Way

Jesus had just told the disciples He was going to leave them and go to heaven. Thomas asked Him, I don’t know the way? In a sense, he was asking: which is the road or means to heaven? You probably heard the joke: Why do so few people get to heaven?” The answer is, “They never stop to ask for directions.” And that is very true. But I am glad that Thomas did ask for directions here. And more glad that Jesus told him the way. The world and media is always trying to direct us to the right way. Jesus says there is only one way to heaven. There is only one way to the Father’s presence. There is only one way to the Father’s house. In Proverbs 14:12 King Solomon said “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

 

This phrase, “The Way,” is used several places in the Scriptures. In Ephesians 2:18, the apostle Paul tells us, “Through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” The writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 10:19-20 speaks of “a new and living way” that gives us access into God’s very presence.” Earlier in the gospel of John in John 10:9 Jesus spoke of Himself as “the gate” through which His sheep enter into salvation.” To say that Jesus is “the Way” is to affirm that He is the path to God.

 

Second: The Truth

Jesus was not only saying, “I am the Way” but added, “I am the Truth.” What is truth? In John’s gospel the noun “truth” (alētheia) appears 25 times, compared to once in Matthew and three times each in Mark and Luke. In John’s gospel, alētheia, “truth,” carries the idea of “authenticity, divine reality, revelation.” The dictionary says truth is, “a certainty concerning any matter; a verified fact or statement; that which is real, steadfast and faithful. It is the opposite of lies, falsehood or deceit.” A survey taken a few years ago asked, “Do you agree strongly, somewhat, or disagree strongly or somewhat, with the following statement: There is no such thing as absolute truth.” Only a quarter of the people believed in “absolute truth.” Today people want to believe in what they call, relative truth. What that means is that a lot of truth is relative to each individual. It means that what is true to one person doesn’t have to be true to someone else. Although I believe all religions contain some truth, Christ is the absolute truth. Friends, the devil doesn’t mind a little truth.

 

Third: The Life

Finally, Jesus declares that He is the Life. Again, John’s gospel overflows with this theme. Jesus brings eternal life. In fact, He is the very source of life – both physical life as Creator, but eternal life as well. In John 1:3-4 we read, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all people.”

 

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471), a German priest who wrote The Imitation of Christ, put it well. He said, “Without the Way there is no going; without the Truth there is no knowing; without the Life there is no living. I am the way which you must follow; the truth which you must believe; the life for which you must hope. I am the inviolable way, the infallible truth, the never-ending life. I am the straightest way; the sovereign truth; life true, life blessed, life uncreated. If you abide in my way you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free, and you shall attain life everlasting.” What a powerful insight!

 

Friends, today’s statement is a tough one! Personally, it brings so much joy and comfort to my heart to know that my Lord and Savior is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is not the purpose of this sermon this morning to send anyone to hell. It is not the purpose of this teaching today to demonize or condemn anyone. That’s not our job. The British theologian C.S. Lewis spent his life trying carefully to define and advocate for orthodox theology. An important text for Lewis was that obscure moment at the end of John’s gospel in chapter 21:22 when Peter asks Christ, “What about this other disciple, what is his ultimate fate?” Christ responds, “What has that to do with you? Follow me!” Rather than preach John 14:6 to determine who is on the way and who is got the truth, we’ve got our hands full just trying to follow Jesus down His narrow way. In other words, our job is to follow the way of Jesus, embrace the truth of the Scripture, and allow His life to transform our lives without condemning, demonizing, or sending anyone to hell. In the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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