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I AM. . .The Way, the Truth and the Life
How I Am Changes Who I Am
The Way, the Truth and the Life
John 14:1-6
 
Please turn with me today to John 14 where we’re going to look at the sixth of seven “I Am” statements made by Jesus.  In each statement Jesus not only declares His deity by identifying Himself in the same way God identified Himself to Moses, He gives us a description of what He does for His children on a personal level.  It is really a revelation to help us understand how the Great I Am changes who I am. 
 
So far we’ve discovered that Jesus is “the bread of life”.  He satisfies the greatest hunger of life.  He is also “the light of the world. “ He is the One who guides and guards our lives.  Jesus said, “I Am “the door” giving liberty from the bondage of sin.  Through Him we exit a life of bondage and enter a life of freedom and service.  He is “the Good Shepherd” Who brings peace in the midst of the storms.  And last week we heard Jesus saying “I Am the resurrection and the life”.  He gives us the promise of eternal life and the power to overcome temptation.
 
The sixth of the seven I AM statements of Jesus is  perhaps is the most well known and maybe the most controversial of the seven. It's found in John 14:6.
 
John 14:6
 
Now it is essential when studying the Bible to always keep a passage in its context. So what is the context of this sixth I Am statement of Jesus?
 
Well, back in chapter 13 Jesus had just wrapped up supper with His disciples and had washed their feet. He then identified His betrayer (Judas) and continued preparing them for what's about to take place, namely His crucifixion.
 
Let's pick up the account beginning in
 
John 13:33-38
 
Three years they had been with Jesus and now He tells them that He is going away. How would you have felt? The same way they felt: confused, anxious, angry, sad, distressed, disturbed and troubled.
 
And Jesus knew it! Perhaps He could see it on their faces.  Maybe it showed their eyes or He could tell by their body language or the tone in Peter's voice.  Or maybe it was His divine ability to understand their thoughts, but for whatever reason, He knew it! And let me tell you something else He knows: He knows all about your troubled heart too. He knows what's troubling you!
 
So notice the very next thing He says. 
 
John 14:1
 
This word translated “trouble”  was the word the Greeks used to describe a boat being tossed to and fro on rough waters. It means disturbed or distressed.
 
Does that describe your life and your heart? 
 
 
Here's how Jesus responds to your troubled heart:
 
John 14:1-4
 
Not let's stop right there for minute. As Jesus was preparing them for His departure, back in chapter 13:36, Simon Peter asked Him a question: “Lord, where are You going?”
 
I’m glad to know Jesus welcomes our questions.  You never have to wonder if it's OK to ask God questions. It's OK! In fact, He welcomes our questions!  In fact, on the cross, we find Jesus asking a question of God.  It’s OK to ask God your questions!
 
In verse 36 Peter asked Him a question and then in verse 37 we find that Jesus answered Him.  I think it’s not only OK to ask God our questions, but we should ask expecting an answer.   
 
So back in verse 36 Simon Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” 
 
In verse 5 of chapter 14, we pick up the conversation again. 
 
Verse 5
 
Thomas is saying, “Lord, Peter just asked where you’re going and you said we can’t go right now.  Now you’re telling us we should not only know where You’re going, but we should know how to get there!” 
 
So just to make it plain, notice what the Lord says in
 
Verse 6
 
Now of all the “I Am” statements Jesus makes, I don’t know if there is any one that changes Who I am more than this one because in it Jesus presents three timeless truths that can forever change your life!
 
1. Am the Way to the Father
 
That means, without Jesus there is no way to get to God.  There are lots of people these days who don’t believe that and they don’t like for you to believe it either.  They don't believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven and they don’t like us preaching He is the only way to heaven.  It’s too narrow-minded. It’s too dogmatic. 
 
In fact, I did an internet search for “different religious belief systems” and I got over 6 million hits.  The search “Religious Practices” got over 40 million responses.  . 
 
And yet, Jesus said, “I am the way to the Father, without me there is no going!” He didn't say, “I will show you the way to the Father,” nor did He say, “I will open the way for you to the Father.” NO! He said, “I am the way to the Father.”
 
Listen:  Jesus is not merely a sign pointing the way to Heaven; He is the Savior, the very way to Heaven and without the Way, there is no going!
 
Now somebody says, “I don't believe that! There are many ways to God. It doesn't matter which way you try, it's just get to God the best way you can.”
 
 
 
So I guess that means getting to God is like getting to Dallas.  You can fly Delta or American or Southwest or United. Just shop around and find your best deal and make sure it’s the most convenient and fits your schedule because, after all, they will all get you to Dallas, Texas, right? The only problem with that is that we're not talking about getting to Dallas, Texas; we're talking about getting to Heaven!
 
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2.5, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.”
 
If you are tempted to believe there are many ways to Heaven, let me give you a Bible verse to consider. It is Proverbs 14”12 and it says “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.”
 
Now let me give you a very clear, down-home interpretation of that verse:  If your way doesn't line up with God’s way, then your way is the wrong way! Don't be so egotistical to think you know more than God or that your way is better than God's way!
 
And ultimately, to choose your way over God’s way will send you to hell for all eternity. 
 
Now, I don’t want you to just accept this claim at its face value.  After all, if Jesus is the Only Way to God, then there ought to be some supporting evidence, right?  So how can you know that Islam isn't the only the way to Heaven or Buddhism or Hinduism some other religion? Let me give you three reasons that I'm convinced that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.
 
 
First, He Fulfilled Bible Prophecy.
 
In the Old Testament, the Prophets described the coming of the Savior's birth, life, death and resurrection in detail. Jesus matched every single description.
 
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He began fulfilling every single prophecy. Statistics state that there is a 1 in 100 million billion (that's 17 zeros) chance to fulfill even eight prophecies. Jesus fulfilled more than 300.
 
Even the seven I Am statements of Jesus are the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies for He is claiming to be who the prophets said He would be.
 
That's one reason I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
 
First, He Fulfilled Bible Prophecy.
 
Second, He Declared His Deity.
 
Jesus declared He was God! John 14:7, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you will know Him and have seen Him.”
 
John 8:57-59, “57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” 59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
 
In John 10:30 He flat out said it:  “I and My Father are one.”
 
Paul said in Colossians 1:15-17, “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
 
Here's why you can believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven:
 
First, He fulfilled Bible Prophecy.
 
Second, He declared His Deity.
 
Third, He accepted worship.
 
When people attempted to worship Paul and Barnabas and Peter, they quickly put a stop to it. But in Matthew 14 when Jesus and Peter stepped back into the boat and the wind ceased we read in Matthew 14:33, 'Then those who were in the boat came and worshipped Him, saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God.”
 
We also read in Revelation 5 where the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders and every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea saying beginning in verses 13-14, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne. And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!”
 
And the twenty-four elders fell down and WORSHIPED HIM who lives forever and ever.”
 
And when Jesus ascended back to heaven having arose from the grave, Dr. Luke tells us in Luke 24:52, “And they WORSHIPED HIM, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.”
 
You can know that Jesus is who He said He is and Jesus is who the prophets said He would be!
 
Jesus fulfilled Bible Prophecy!
 
Jesus declared His Deity!
 
Jesus accepted Worship!
 
He is the Way to the Father and without Him, there is no going! He alone gives us access to the Father because He alone paid the penalty for our sins!
 
Jesus said, “I am the Way to the Father and without Me there is no going!”
 
Here’s the second thing.  Jesus said,
 
2. I Am the Truth about the Father
 
That means without Jesus, there is no Knowing.
 
So what does He mean when He says that He is “the truth?” After all, to claim to be the truth is different than claiming to tell the truth. 
 
 
 
More and more, society has come to mock and ridicule the idea of absolute truth. It especially disdains the declaration that in Jesus and in the Bible we have absolute truth!
 
The idea that there are some things that are absolute and unchanging has long ago given way to relativism.  Everything is subjective and must be filtered through the circumstances and societal and environmental changes that are taking place around us.   Therefore, it is up to each person to decide what’s true and what’s not true and what’s right and what’s not right.
 
 
What's true for me may not be what's true for you. We sound like ancient Israel during the days of the Kings! We read in Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
 
It’s rather humorous to hear someone say, “There is no absolute truth.” After all, isn’t that an absolute statement?  How can someone who believes there is no absolute truth blatantly speak for everyone else and say there is no absolute truth? 
 
After all, I say there is absolute truth,” and if you say, “I don't believe in absolute truth” as an absolute truth I must reject your absolute statement about no absolute truth!
 
Do you know why people don't want to believe in absolute truth? Because absolute truth requires a person to be confronted with Jesus and to be confronted with Jesus is to be confronted with sin and they don't like that.
If I reject absolute truth, then there can really be no sin and no sin means I am accountable to nobody for my actions!
 
Once again I must look to the Bible for the substance of my argument.  In John 16:12-13,  Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.”
 
A chapter later in John 17.17 He prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth.”
 
In Jesus, there is absolute truth. In Jesus, you can know truth and the Bible says in John 8:32 that “the truth shall make you free.”
 
Here are timeless truths that can forever change you life! Jesus said,
 
  • I AM the Way to the Father and without Me, there is no Going!
 
  • I AM the Truth of the Father and without Me, there is no Knowing!
 
3. I AM the Life of the Father
 
And there we discover that without Jesus, there is no Living!
 
Jesus is not only the way to God and is the truth about God; He is the very life of God. And the life Jesus gives is abundant! He tells us in John 10.10, “I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.”
 
This word “abundantly” speaks of having a surplus or  overflow.  Jesus not only gives abundant life; He also gives eternal life. He tells us in John 3.16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
 
Now here’s what I see in this verse: 
 
Jesus can only be the Way because He is the Truth and the Life.  The only way Jesus can get you to God is because of His Truth or His integrity.  I’m talking about the Holiness of His life.  Only Jesus qualified to be in the presence of God.  Everyone else, according to Romans 3:23 falls short. 
 
And wonder of wonders, He took that precious life and gave it on the cross for us.  He Who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
 
His life for mine was what He gave so that His Truth and His Life could provide our way.   
 
I began today by talking about anxiousness and worry and fear.  And remember, it is in that context that Jesus placed this claim.
 
Would you agree with me that the most stress-free place in the universe is in the presence of God?  That’s what the Psalmist had in mind when he said in Psalm 16:11, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
 
Isn’t that a precious thought?  Just get into the presence of God and everything will be okay. 
 
Is that not what Jesus was saying to His disciples? 
Don’t be all stressed out and troubled.  You believe in God.  He’s going to take care of you.  And I’m going to prepare a place where we can be together.   Where I’m going, you can come and be with me and we’ll spend eternity together and I’ll show you how to get there.    
 
In fact, that’s how the 11th verse of that Psalm begins:  “You will show me the path of life.”  And the path of life will lead me to your presence. 
 
Let me give you an Old Testament picture of that and we’ll be through. 
 
For the Old Testament Jew, life revolved around the Temple.  Any desire an Israelite had to get close to God involved the Temple.  Any hope of redemption was found at the Temple.  It was, for all intents and purposes, the dwelling place of God.  God’s glory was literally present between the two angels of the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant which rested in the Holy of Holies.
 
Now the picture that Temple presents is this:  Mankind was outside the temple; God was on the inside and to get where God was required entering through three curtained gates.
 
There were three parts to Tabernacle: the courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies and each part had only one entrance.  You couldn’t get to the Holy of Holies without first entering the Holy Place and you couldn’t get to the Holy Place without first entering the courtyard that surrounded it. 
 
 
So the first entrance was the gate into the courtyard. 
There were no side doors or places you could sneak in. This structure was a tent that could be taken down and put back together as the Israelites were in the wilderness during the Exodus. So if I wanted to go in to God I had only one entrance.
 
The picture we see is that all of sinful mankind, which includes you and me, is outside and God is inside and there was only one “Way” in.  By the way, when you entered that first gate, the first thing you encountered was a Brass Altar.  It is a picture of the cross and it was the only way for me to have access to God in the Tabernacle setting and it is the only way for me to have access to God today. This way leads to God and any other way leads from Him.  We have to get our sins settled before we can go any further and the cross takes care of those sins because Jesus was the sacrifice. 
 
Going through the next set of curtains brought you to the Holy Place.  It was primarily a place of worship.  Inside the Holy of Holies were three pieces of furniture: the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Showbread and the Golden Altar.
 
The Golden Altar is where incense was burned to offer my prayers to God. The Table of Showbread is where I was breaking bread and having fellowship with God and praising Him for my provisions. And because this was in a tent it was dark except that the Golden Lampstand (a menorah as we know it today) was there providing light for the whole scene.
 
Now Jesus said, those who worship God must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.
 
 Jesus was the Truth in that there is only one true way to worship and that is the way God ordained it. There is our way and God’s way.  There is only God’s way.  A Jew couldn’t come into the temple and just do it the way he wanted to.  The penalty for that was
death.   
 
So entrance #1 represents the Way.  Entrance #2 is the Truth and Entrance #3 tells us about the Life. Just one time a year, on the Day of Atonement the High Priest would go into the Holy of Holies and offer the blood of atonement on behalf of everyone in a corporate way and that way involved the shedding of blood and the taking of life.  
 
So there was only one way in, there was only one true worship and prayer, and there is only one way to eternal life and that was with the Almighty God behind the curtain.
 
God had a new way of getting to Him outlined in the New Testament. It wasn’t through a series of blood sacrifices. It was direct access to God through THE sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  So how do I “get into” the place where God is? God gave us the answer as Jesus died on the cross. It’s found in Luke 23: 44-46.
 
God wanted us to know that the old way, the system of priests and blood sacrifice, was over. The curtain, the last entrance, was torn in two and now we can all “walk into” where God is. There is a new way – because of Jesus’ death – to get to Life.  All of this happened because Jesus Christ was the one Way in, the Truth of worship and fellowship with God, and access to the Life. And no one comes to the Father except through Him.
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