The “I Am’s of Christ”
Scripture Reading: John 14:1-6
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
We will be examining the claims Jesus made regarding His own life and ministry. Throughout the time of His public ministry on the earth, Jesus made several bold claims about Himself in the public sphere. In some instances, these claims created controversy, offence and rejection especially with the Scribes and Pharisees of His time.
John records an incident in John 8:58-59 in which Jesus claimed that “before Abraham was born, I Am.” The nature of the claim is that He existed before Abraham. At that point, they sought to kill Him by stoning, but He escaped from the Temple where the incident occurred.
On another occasion recorded by Matthew, Jesus claimed that the “Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” Matthew 9:6. To that claim the scribes who were present in the house, denounced that it as blasphemous.
Jesus made several “I Am” claims on various aspects of life. These claims are related to a spiritual teaching and miracles to confirm their validity. Sometimes, Jesus made the claim and performed a miracle to validate its authenticity. At other times, He would perform the miracle, make the claim and offer a spiritual lesson.
There seems to be no fixed methodology in the demonstration of the supernatural. Jesus taught that He is the light of the world, and then went on to heal the blind man to authenticate the validity of the claim. On another occasion, He fed the five thousand and then taught that He is the Bread of Life.
We will now examine each of the claims made by Jesus, observe the miracle He did in connection with the claim and identify the spiritual lesson He taught us from it.
In our Scripture reading above, Jesus said to Thomas, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one can come to the Father except through Him. Jesus made that statement in connection with a question Thomas had asked Him. The context of this discussion was very interesting, Jesus was about to depart the world.
Sadness filled the air as they reflected on their relationship and pondered on the future. Jesus brought encouragement by assuring them that the separation will only be for a brief moment, that He will come again and receive them to Himself and that they will be with Him forever and for all eternity.
He said to them further, that they knew the way to where He was going. Thomas answered and said that they do not know where He was going and as such, they do not know the way. Jesus answered Thomas with a very profound statement; He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Some other translations explain it slightly differently. I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life. These are some very radical and unapologetic claims. It behooves us to examine the profundity of each statement.
Jesus said I am the Way. This statement can be interpreted in several ways. The prevailing thinking in those days is the glorification of Rome, all roads lead to Rome.
Jesus now comes along and declares that He is the way to eternal life and not Rome. Further, in a world of many conflicting voices, each purporting to be the single voice of hope and eternity, Jesus nullifies all by His own authoritative declaration that He is the only way to the Father and eternity. Heaven is only accessible to those who put their faith and trust in Jesus.
I am the Truth. In His conversation with Pilate, he asked, what is Truth? John 18:38. As our Scripture indicates, Jesus answered that question by declaring that He is the Truth. It seems evident that truth is not a concept but rather it is a person.
Jesus is the very embodiment of truth. It is not the philosophies of men nor ideologies, concepts and beliefs. He is the only full and truthful way to the Father. His teachings are the only truth that has eternal values and sanctioned by the Father.
I am the Life. In 1 John 5:12, the scripture ascertained that he who has the Son has life. This is a reference to eternal life in Christ. Sometimes this concept is taken to mean that eternal life is enjoyed after death.
We have eternal life when we die, live-forever in eternity, while this is true, it really does not begin when we die, rather here but now only in Christ. We have eternal life residing in us here and now, once we have accepted Jesus as lord and Savior.
No person has ever made the claims Jesus made regarding eternity. He claimed to be the only way. Some might consider this false, arrogant, or even demeaning to other religious beliefs. However, as He said, it is the only truth. The redemptive plan of God is fulfilled in Jesus, the way, the truth and the life.
Paul Mursalin from Guyana is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund
Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash