The way, the truth, the life! – John 14:1-6
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 20, 2015
In the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a “trilogy” of five books published between 1979 and 1992, relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought explained that the answer was incomprehensible because the beings it was speaking to didn’t know what they were asking. Of course this was nonsensical science fiction, but the question of what the secret to life has often been discussed. There are those who look for some secret or mystical sign from God or anywhere in order to discover for themselves what this might be.
There are folks who think that the secret to life is in unwrapping the hidden god in you, finding some esoteric teaching that will bring everything together in one cosmic consciousness, some believe it is a yearning programmed into us by aliens from another galaxy, and then there are those who claim not to care at all thinking there is no meaning to life whatsoever. We find in John’s gospel that the secret of life has been revealed in Jesus. Let’s discover what Jesus teaches us concerning the way, the truth and the life…
According to Jesus we discover that the way, the truth, and the life…
I. Gives us a future hope and a present comfort! (Vv. 1-3)
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
1. Knowing what was going to happen to him soon and knowing what would happen to his followers, Jesus teaches them to not let their “hearts be troubled.” The word “troubled” here in this verse means agitated or shaken and whether we are shaken or troubled in this world, we can find comfort in Jesus. So whatever concerns us, we absolutely have comfort in Jesus. Why? Jesus’ reasoning is based on the fact that if we can “Trust in God” we can also “trust” in him. After all he is God and trusting in one is trusting in the other! If you think your problems in life are harsh, remember Jesus is addressing those who would have to struggle with the fact one of their own just left to betray Jesus, another would deny him three times, and the rest would run away as fast they could when confronted with the armed guards arresting Jesus! They would feel like frightened, hunted orphans, left on their own. Jesus continues to comfort them by telling them, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.” Much has been written about this. Some believe it is actual houses, others special rooms, while the wording suggests the place where God has prepared places for his disciples to abide. God’s kingdom, where he is, is a big big house with lots and lots of room for all of those who have trusted in him! In fact it is a certainty because otherwise Jesus would have told us so! And, in fact, he is “going there to prepare a place” for them! His death, burial, and resurrection followed by his ascension provided a place for us in his kingdom! Yet the wonderful promise Jesus tells them, “And if I go and prepare a place for you,” which he definitely did, then “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” We discover that the way, the truth, and the life gives us a future hope and a present comfort!
EXAMPLE: Our hope and comfort in Jesus is more than pie in the sky when we die, it is for the here and now as well. However, the truth that Jesus just taught his disciples is reinforced when he returned to his throne in heaven. The Book of Acts relates that after Jesus finished speaking to his disciples, “he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'” (Acts 1:9-11 NIV) Jesus comforts us now and he is coming back, this truth gives us a future hope and a present comfort!
According to Jesus we discover that…
II. The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone! (Vv. 4-6)
“You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
1. Jesus does not leave them guessing about what he just told them and in fact we too know where he went. We know that Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus while he was being stoned to death, “full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55 NIV) Peter told the crowd at Pentecost, “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.” (Acts 5:31 NIV) Paul would say that God’s mighty power was “exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21 NIV) However, Thomas, the one who often wants proof, said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Throughout his three years with them Jesus had told them over and over where he was headed and why, but they did not completely understand it. Some believe Jesus is simply a “way shower,” in that he just shows us the way to God, but Jesus is far more than that. Jesus tells them bluntly, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is a forceful statement, meaning it is kind of like your parents telling you, “No you cannot set your little brother on fire!” Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life; there is no other way to God, no other truth of God, and no other life besides that with God. The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone!
EXAMPLE: It baffles me how some folks think it is intelligent not to believe there is a God when there is so much proof that there is indeed a Creator. The genetic code, the workings of the universe, microbiology, and even mathematics point to a logical and consistent creation. In fact, we have more evidence that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected than we have for the existence of George Washington, Plato, or that Julius Caesar existed. Why would I say this? Simply because Jesus has more contemporaneous evidences, historians, and folks who wrote eye-witness accounts than Plato, Washington, or Caesar had. So when Jesus says what he does about himself, we had better pay attention, and after all Washington, Plato, or Caesar did not rise from the dead and ascend into heaven! The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone!
The way, the truth, and the life give us a future hope and a present comfort! The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone! Do you know the way, the truth, and the life?
This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.