Sunday, March 4, 2012

I am the way: some snippets from the I am sayings

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
                    While the other I am sayings address Jesus divine nature, oneness with the Father or His life-giving salvation. This particular saying addresses Jesus as the exclusive way of salvation, which is closely linked to His substitutionary, atoning death on the Cross. For it is through His death that God and sinners are reconciled. D. A. Carson in his book The Gospel According to John notes that:
Jesus is the way to God, precisely because he is the truth of God and the life of God. Jesus is the truth, because he embodies the supreme revelation of god – he himself ‘narrates’ God (1.18), says and does exclusively what the Father gives him to say and do (5.19ff; 8.29), indeed he is properly called ‘God’ (1.1, 18; 20.28). Jesus is the life (1.4), the one who has ‘life in himself’ (5.26), ‘the resurrection and the life’ (11.25), ‘the true God and eternal life’ (1 Jn 5.20). Only because he is the truth and life can Jesus be the way for others to come to God.[1]

Jesus did not merely blaze a trail, commanding others to follow his lead, nor is Jesus ‘the way’ in the sense of setting an example and calling others to perform and meet a standard. These both assign Jesus a far too passive role. Jesus is the ‘Savior of the world’ (4.42), the ‘Lamb of God’ (1.29), and the one who has power and authority to speak to the dead and call them to life (5.28-29). “He so mediates God’s truth and God’s life that he is the very way to God…, the one who alone can say, No-one comes to the Father except through me.”[2]

[1] D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, 491
[2] D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, 491 (emphasis original)