What did Jesus mean by the words, I am the way the truth and the life?

The phrase “I am the way and the truth and the life” is one of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus (John 6:35, 48, 51; 8:12; 9:5; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1).

Jesus declares His Deity before His crucifixion

After the Last Supper and before the crucifixion, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled… In my Father’s house are many rooms… I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go … I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3). Then,  Thomas said to him, “where you are going. How can we know the way?”  (v. 5). Then, Jesus said His famous words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (v. 6).

Jesus declared His deity, “Truly, truly I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The term “I am” is a title for God (Exodus 3:14). And the Jews understood that Jesus was equating Himself with God because they took up stones to stone Him for blaspheming (v. 59).

Christ is the way

By His humanity, Christ touches this earth, and by His divinity He touches heaven. He is the ladder connecting earth and heaven (John 1:51). Because of His incarnation and death “a new and living way” has been consecrated for us (Heb. 10:20). There is no other means of salvation (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim. 2:5). Christ is the only way through whom we must seek redemption (John 14:6; 17:3; John 14:5–6; Rom. 5:1–2).

Christ is the truth

The Bible states, “Your law is the truth” (Psalm 119:142).  Jesus magnified the law of God in His life. And He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). In the Sermon on the Mount, He explained the law and its true meaning. And taught that anyone who would annul it would “in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). By fulfilling the law Christ simply “filled” it “full” of meaning—by giving men an example of perfect obedience to the will of God, in order that the same law “might be fulfilled in us” (Rom. 8:3, 4).

Christ is the life

God is the source of all life in the universe. Thus, what is true of the Father is also true of the Son, for in Christ is life, original, unborrowed, and underived. And He assured His followers, “because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19) both spiritually and physically (John 6:57).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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