Sep 25th, 2017
In the book of John, Jesus makes the statement I AM 20 times. 7 times, however, Jesus follows up the statement with a metaphor that gives us a glimpse into who Jesus is. John 14:6 is the sixth of those 7 statements.
When I approached this I Am statement I started with the approach of analyzing each segment of the verse alone. The Way separate from The Truth and The Life, The Truth separate from The Way and The Life, and finally The Life separate from The Way and The Truth. I thought I was going to have to split this statement into three separate podcasts. I had four pages of scripture references laid out that supported each statement of The Way, The Truth, and The Life. I was ready to really give an in depth look at each of those different statements. But, the more I considered this statement by Jesus, the more I was struck by their interconnectedness and their dependence on each other. So I took to the commentaries.
The "1714 Matthew Henry`s Commentary on the Whole Bible" talking about John 14:6 puts it that "Christ is the way, the truth, and the life; that is, He is the beginning, the middle, and the end. In Him we must set out, go on, and finish. As the truth He is the guide of our way; as the life, he is the end of it. He is the true and living way; there are truth and life in the way, as well as at the end of it. He is the true way to life, the only true way; other ways may seem right, but the end of them is the way of death." I really enjoy reading what Matthew Henry has to say about the scriptures he'll usually give one or two, sometimes three possible view points that he can see given a certain scripture and It's usually less of a dry read than some of the other commentaries out there. So if you're looking for a commentary the "1714 Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible" is a pretty good one.
Getting back on topic...
When Christ refers to Himself as The Way it's very likely that He is referencing another prophecy in Isaiah about Himself. We know He does that, we've talked about Him doing it before. In this case it would be Isaiah 35:8 where Isaiah is speaking of the coming Messiah, "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness." That sure sounds like Jesus to me. In Hebrews 9:8 Paul says, "That the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while the first tabernacle was yet standing." I know that sounds a little out of context, it's kinda hard to grasp what he's talking about there. What Paul is talking about here and what Isaiah seems to be referencing is that there was a holy place on Earth in a tabernacle that God had commanded them to build. In this holy place God`s presence would dwell; His manifest thick presence.
This section of the tabernacle was separated from the rest by a thick veil hung from floor to ceiling, and once a year the high priest would enter into the holy place to offer the blood of the sacrifice on behalf of himself and the people for the covering of their sins. This was the only time anyone was ever allowed beyond the veil. Matthew 27:50-51 tells us that when Jesus died that veil was immediately torn in two from top to the bottom. You see the high priest was foreshadowing the true way to redemption and rightness with God. Jesus, from birth to death and beyond, IS The Way bringing us redemption and rightness with God forever. You find that a lot in the Old Testament: foreshadowing that points back to Christ. The New Testament says that Christ came to fulfill the law and to fulfill the words of the prophets. This is what they meant by that. There were a lot of types and shadows; things that we we're doing that were part of the law, tradition, and religiosity that were supposed to give us a glimpse of who and what Jesus would be when He came. It was supposed to be our roadmap, our clues so that when he came we would recognize Him. It didn't work, the Jewish people still, most of them, didn't see Jesus for who and what He was when He came.
Back once again to our current topic...
When Jesus includes truth and life to this statement it's believed by some that He's simply using adjectives to further explain what He means by Way, but if you ask this Berean then Jesus is expressing the Trinity. For those that haven't heard the term, or haven't had it explained to them the Trinity is the term we've coined in Christian circles to describe that God exists or expresses Himself to us in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God exists in these three expressions, these three aspects of Himself, but is still One God.
We know and have identified that The Way Jesus speaks of is Himself, His own physical presence on Earth. So what, or more appropriately who, are The Truth and The Life? John 16:13 says, "But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth." From what we've covered in recent posts we know that Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit who He sends to us after He left Earth. When you talk about the truth it's common for people to quote, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." I don't think they realize, though, that they're quoting Jesus in John 8:32, and we now know from John 16:13 that Jesus was talking there about the Holy Spirit. You will know the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will set you free.
That only leaves one person from the Trinity left for the Life to be, the Father. John 5:21 says, "In the same way the Father raises from the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone He chooses. And John 5:25-26 says, "The time is coming, and it's here now, that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear will live. Because the Father has life in Himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." In Acts 3:15 Peter calls Jesus the Prince of Life whom God hath raised from the dead. In the reference here that would make God the Father the King of Life and also the part of the Trinity of God that raised Jesus from the dead.
It's a lot to take in. Go back and look up those scriptures, read them. Pray about what the Lord wants to tell you through them. Know that I'm not lying to you. I haven't said it in a while, be Berean; don't believe what I say until you look it up yourself. Go look it up. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you through my words.
Until next time...