Who is Jesus Anyway?
Jesus. When you say the name, different things come to mind for different people.
Jesus also used a lot of different terms to describe himself, but one of the most well known descriptions he gave is from this verse in the Gospel of John: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
Very deep, very philosophical, kind of poetic…, but what does it mean?
The way to where?
In the original Greek, “the way” means a road or a route, but it also indicates progress along that road. And when you add in Jesus’ next sentence—”No one comes to the Father except through me”—it becomes very clear that he is claiming to be the way to God, and the way to heaven. Not “a” way, but “the only” way. And when you know the way, that keeps you from getting lost!
People sometime criticize Christians for this exclusiveness. They’ll say, “You Christians think you’re the only ones who are right and everybody else is wrong!”
But we’re not claiming to have thought up this religion on our own, excluding anyone who disagrees with us. This is what the founder of Christianity said! Jesus claimed to be the only way to reach God. He made that statement, backed it up with some incredible teaching, an incredible life, a voluntary horrible death, and a mind-blowing happy ending: he rose from the dead and lives forever! Now he asks the world to believe it. Christians are simply the ones who said, “Yes.” We didn’t make it up and then arrogantly claim everyone else was wrong.
And Jesus directs the same question to you. What will your answer be?
If Jesus is the truth, then everything else is a mistake at best or a deliberate lie at worst. And don’t misunderstand; Jesus isn’t claiming to be one truth among many, or the truth for some people but not others, he’s saying he is the only truth. He’s being very exclusive again!
In a world full of crossroads and forks, different opinions and beliefs, and many loud voices making differing claims, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to grab onto one tried and tested belief system and confidently say, “This is Truth?” That’s the audacious claim of Christianity—timeless, unchanging Truth, with a capital T!
Jesus actually says, “I am Truth, the whole Truth, all you’ll ever need.”
People sometimes dream about their perfect world. Maybe it’s a white sandy beach with a hammock between two palm trees; maybe it’s a log cabin in a pine forest near a lake; maybe it’s a beautiful new home on five acres, close to shopping and nightlife. And usually financial independence is part of the dream! Whatever it is, they describe it and then they say something like, “That would be the life.”
Real life. Really living. Not just existing, a daily monotonous drudgery. Or a grueling, painful struggle. But life—in every positive sense of the word. Doesn’t that sound great?
Jesus says that’s him. Real life. Not heaven on earth for us, not perfection—at least not yet! But a life that gives meaning to every day; a life that ultimately conquers death; a life that triumphs over just existing; and a life with the promise that a perfect life forever is just ahead.
Jesus’ own life sets a good example. The circumstances were far from perfect: poor upbringing, hard work, a traveling ministry with lots of nights sleeping on hard ground, a burst of popularity and success, then terrible suffering and death. But he went through it all because he knew his life was part of something bigger, part of a grand plan. He endured the suffering because of “the joy set before him.” (Hebrews 12:2)
He accepted the painful parts of life because he knew what real life was. And he offers that life to us. Right now, and lasting forever.
“Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ “ If he’s right, then…
Trying to find the way to God and heaven outside of Christ is a hard road leading to a dead end.
Trying to find life’s truth outside of Christ leads to wrong answers and lies.
Trying to find life—real life—outside of Christ leads to simply existing or chasing after temporary fun, and then eternal separation from God.
At First Evangelical Free Church we believe Christ alone is the answer. We can help you find the way, the truth, and the life! Contact us today to find out about our ministries.
About the author
Mike Anderson majored in Bible at the University of Northwestern and has been a student of the Bible his whole adult life. He is newly retired and still learning the ropes. At First Evangelical Free Church he teaches 5th grade Sunday school and co-leads a small group. He enjoys biking, reading, writing, and hiking. Mike and his wife Debbie make their home in Lake Elmo and enjoy having all of their kids and grandkids in the Twin Cities area.