Bible study: Jesus said: “I AM The Way, the Truth and the Life”

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For Weobley BS, Tuesday, March 26, 2019

 • Link to OT saying: Yahweh M’keddesh, the Lord our holiness, Leviticus 20:8 

Read John 14:1-7 NLT

1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.

2-4 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? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “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.

7 If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

CONTEXT AND EXPLANATION 

Jesus said elsewhere that His followers would be received into “eternal habitations” or “an eternal home” — the sense of a place prepared for them, read Luke 16:9; 1 Cor. 2:9. The most immediate way Jesus would “come and get” the disciples (v.3) was in His various post-resurrection appearances. However, Jesus was clearly looking far ahead to His final return.

Whatever the timing, He told the disciples that they knew the way to where He was going, using a syllogism logic common among Greek orators: ‘You know the way, because I am the Way, and you know Me!’

Now that exclusive relationship has changed into Jesus being the only way of salvation and the way to the Father, for all who choose to make Him the way. Only through Jesus can we gain access to God.

He is Yahweh M’keddesh, the Lord our holiness – Reference A

There is no other name, no other way to God as Acts 4:12 tells us.

“How can we know the way?” Thomas asks. In the early church, followers of Jesus were first known as followers of the Way – see Acts 9:2 – and the nickname ‘Christians’, meaning ‘little Christs’, caught on later.

Jesus’ statement “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” means that He is the way of God, the truth of God and the life of God, all incarnate in human form. For His original hearers, unsure of who He was, this was a clear claim to Jesus being God in person.

Knowing God as Father is not always easy – depending on what our picture of a father is like. But Jesus is the exact representation of the perfect Father in every dimension – way + truth + life. When we come to know Jesus, we come to know the exact representation of God!

“I AM the way”, expresses that Jesus is our ‘holiness passport’, who stands to welcome us into God’s presence. Where once there was a big thick temple curtain hanging as a barrier to prevent us unholy people from entering the holy space, Jesus – the Lord our holiness – now stands to usher us in.

“I AM the life” emphasises that Jesus is the only one who fulfils the OT promise of life given by God, by having life in Himself and being uniquely equipped to confer life on others.

Jesus, giver of life – Reference B

Jesus as the Truth (reality) is the fulfilment of the teaching of the OT. John emphasises this in his gospel and letters e.g. 1 John 5:20.

Jesus the Truth or Reality of God – Reference C.

Jesus is the master of life. Only He knows God without any distortion from sin. He is the truth and reality because He has the power to make sense of life unswayed by its ups and downs. He is the life because He was not subject to death, but made death subject to Him. Death was not the end of His life; He died to show us the power and continuity of His life. 

QUESTIONS 

1. How is Thomas’ question (v.5), “How can we know the way…” relevant for us today? Is it for us, or for those we meet?

2. How does Jesus’ statement as a whole in verses 6-7 help us to know what God is like?

3. Jesus is the way to God (v.6). Why do people find that difficult?

4. Is it enough to receive and believe the simple truth, in simple faith, that Jesus is the way to God, or is more needed? 

5. Hearing Jesus say “I AM the truth….”, what does He mean? Why is Jesus different from all other influential people?

6. Jesus tells us “I AM the life…” What life does He refer to? How does having life in Jesus encourage us, day by day?

7. When ‘life’ gets on top of us, how does Jesus the life of God change the balance of the scales?

8. Moses presented the truth “I AM the Lord who makes you holy,” Lev. 20:8, in one way, and Jesus shows another aspect – what is the same, what is different?

9. Fear is a basic emotion that can influence our thoughts and lives. What is the fundamental fear that is confronted in verses 1-4?

10. How does Jesus fulfil and make accessible the OT promises of life given by God, e.g. “I put to death and I bring to life… You make known to me the path of life… With You is the fountain of life”, Deut 32:39, Psalms 16:11, 36:9

REFERENCES  

(A)  THE LORD OUR HOLINESS 

Leviticus 20:7-8 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the LORD who makes you holy

(B)  JESUS THE GIVER OF LIFE 

 1 John 4:9  God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him

John 3:14-16 “And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 

John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to My message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. 

John 5:25-26 “And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear My voice–the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in Himself, and He has granted that same life-giving power to His Son. 

 John 6:47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life

 John 10:27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.  

 Romans 8:11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you

(C) THE REALITY OF GOD IN JESUS

 John 1:17-18  For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us

 Col. 1:15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation… 

 1 John 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given us understanding so that we can know the true* God. And now we live in fellowship with the true* God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true* God, and He is eternal life. 

 *True: alethinos – real, true, genuine. Opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended, the word contrasts ‘realities with their semblances’. 

 ALSO: John 5:37-39 And the Father who sent me has testified about Me Himself. You have never heard His voice or seen Him face to face and you do not have His message in your hearts, because you do not believe Me – the one He sent to you. You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!

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In folded A4 booklet form to print– church small group use only, please respect (c) 2019 Ian Greig 

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