I AM the Way, Truth, and Life

When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

The Passover dinner conversation took an unexpected turn. First, Jesus said that one of the disciples would betray him (John 13:18). Then Jesus said something that chilled the disciples’ souls: “I will be with you only a little longer. … Where I am going, you cannot come” (v. 34).

Peter was the first to ask, “Where are you going?” (13:36). Jesus discerned the disciples’ dismay; therefore He assured them that, although they couldn’t accompany him at that time, they knew the way to His destination. But Thomas disagreed: “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered with these familiar words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for what lay ahead, but they seemed fixated on the loss of His presence (see also 16:16-18). Peter’s question—“Where are you going?”—hung in the room like a dense fog, obscuring everything else Jesus said.

When unexpected or devastating events confound us, Jesus’s words to His disciples that night can clear our vision. First, the balm for troubled souls is, as Jesus said, “Trust in God; trust also in Me” (John 14:1). Complete trust in the One who loves us dispels anxiety. What peace! Second, Jesus will return and take us to live with Him forever (v. 3). What comfort! Third, we know the way to His heavenly home (v. 4). What joy!

Jesus’s answer to Thomas assures us of three more truths: Contrary to what some say, He is the only means of access into God’s presence. This access is available to us 24/7 once we have accepted him as Savior (Hebrews 4:15-16). He is also the source of all truth—not only about eternal life but also about earthly life. We rely on His teachings to help us navigate this world and to guide us into eternity (Psalm 119:105). Third, He is the only source of abundant, purposeful life on earth. Any other promised path of life is actually a road to destruction (Proverbs 14:12; Matthew 7:13).

If we focus on the truths Jesus gave in these verses, they will provide the illumination we need to dispel any fog that difficulty or doubt creates.

DIG DEEPER:

Read John 14:1-31. What other promises did Jesus give the disciples in this chapter? Which one means the most to you at this point in your life?

The disciples were upset that Jesus was “going away.” But whose arrival was contingent on Jesus’s departure according to John 16:7-15? Why did Jesus consider this arrival so vital for His disciples (and for us)?

Many people label Thomas a doubter because of his statement in John 20:25. But what do John 11:16 and 20:26-28 reveal about Thomas’s love for Jesus? (For more on this disciple, read Thomas.)

Denise K. Loock

This devotion is part of a series on the I AM Names of Jesus.

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