Many people have their favorite verses from Scripture. Many of my fellow Christians in the south prefer John 3:16. Interestingly, it seems like many ignore the verses surrounding the seminal verse. Some months ago during the Easter season, one of the readings was John chapter 3. I had been so fixated on 3:16 that I forgot about the amazing verses leading up to it drawing from the Old Testament with the serpent being lifted up just as Jesus would be lifted up on the cross.
Anyways, a verse that’s really fundamental to Christianity and cements who Jesus Christ is has to be John 14:6 when he says “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When I think hard about why I remain a Christian, this verse comes to mind. If I ever wanted to leave God, this verse would keep me from doing so.
The beauty of this verse is full of amazing truths about Jesus’ role. He is the mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:15). Because he used an “I Am” this statement reaches back to the revelation of God to Moses at the Burning Bush (Ex 3:14). By using this, Jesus is directly stating he is consubstantial to God is eternal and transcendent. He wants those he is speaking towards to know he is divine and not a mere man uttering fanciful claims.
Only Jesus could perfectly be “the way”, “the truth”, and “the life.” Being the visible image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15), he is the physical manifestation of God. The same God who redeemed his nation out of slavery, conquered the Promised Land has revealed himself in the fullness of the Incarnation.
Because God is the source of wisdom and truth, Jesus being of the same substance is also the truth. This means his words are important because they reveal truths about our fallenness. Only Jesus spoke with profound authority regarding how to live as a disciple. He just didn’t repeat age-old traditions of men, but instead, he gave clear divine prescriptions about getting to the Father, whom he knew intimately. It’s only by taking heed to his word are we made alive into the new life.
Jesus is leading us to the Father. God has placed eternity in our hearts so we might yearn and long for the ultimate source of satisfaction which is to dwell in a restored paradise with God. Jesus being the unique Son, knows exactly how to get his brothers and sisters into his Father’s mansion. We’re only going to enter through the narrow way he has revealed to us (Matt 7:13).
With all that said, this verse keeps me rooted in Jesus. He’s literally telling us there’s no feasible pathway to gain eternal life without him. The “all roads that lead to God” just aren’t out there. How would he know this? Jesus is God, so he would know all things from all past, present, and future. If there would be a better savior to come along 1) Jesus would’ve known 2) John 14:16 would’ve been a lie.
Quite frankly, there’s no need to look elsewhere when Jesus Christ has the deeds, signs, teachings, authority, and profound insight on the human condition like no other can have! When you’re God, what would you least expect?
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