Tom: We are continuing with the gospel, and we’re going through the Gospel of John. We are in John, chapter 14. Dave, last week we got into verse 6, but I think we could camp out here for a while. Verse 6 says: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Dave: Well, of course the reason Jesus said that is because He said, “I am going to go away. I’m going to prepare a place for you, I am going to come again and take you there.” And in verse 5, Thomas says, “Well, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said, “Where I go, you know; the way you know.” And Thomas said, “Wait a minute, how can that be?” And Jesus said, “I am the way.” Not the way-show-er. He’s not pointing out a path for us to follow, He’s not setting a standard for us to live up to. We could just follow the example of Jesus. How are you going to follow the example of Jesus? Only Jesus can do that. But He’s not even talking about—this is not living a good life. This is getting to heaven! Now, how are you going to get to heaven? Thomas, I think, says for all of us, “I don’t know where heaven is, and I sure don’t know how to get there.” And I think every person listening would have to confess that.
Tom: Dave, what about somebody who had just heard our last segment and said, “See, you guys, what you are saying—you’re talking about God’s justice and so on, but it’s only through Jesus, it’s only through believing on Him.” What do you think?
Dave: Well, He doesn’t say, “No man comes to the Father except he believes on me”; He says, “Except through me. I am the way and the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” And I would say the babies come through Jesus, His payment for their sins.
Tom: That’s right, it has to be that way.
Dave: You know, we were talking also about Adam and Eve earlier, original sin. When they sinned, not only were they separated in their spirit from God by sin; they were thrown out of the Garden. And God put, it says, a flaming sword to keep the way to the tree of life. We don’t get big explanations about this tree of life, but apparently, if you ate of this—I get the impression you couldn’t just eat once, but you would have to keep eating—if you continued to keep eating of this tree, you physically wouldn’t ever die.
And so some people would complain and say, “Well, how come God doesn’t let us have that?” You remember Ponce de León—Ruth and I were down in Florida a few months ago, I think it was in January, and we went to the Fountain of Youth—didn’t get a drink of it—all of these dreams, these stories, some secret somewhere. No, there is no secret anywhere. Jesus laid that to rest. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.” And Jesus—how is He the way? How did He become the way? I think it’s a beautiful illustration: God put a flaming sword to keep the way to the tree of life so no one can get to this…I mean, “God doesn’t want us to be able to live forever?” Yes, but not in this condition.
Tom: I’m not in favor of it—I’ve got pains in my knees right now, Dave, and it’s not getting better.
Dave: Right. So, God is not going to perpetuate us in these bodies of sin and suffering and so forth. We’re not going to just…wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could live as long as Adam or a thousand years or more? No, that wouldn’t be wonderful, and that would make crime even worse. If a criminal—no death penalty, and you knew all you had to do was just another bite of that fruit and you would just keep living…. So, God’s judgment came upon man, and we all fled that sword, in fact, because human beings complain, you know. One of the big complaints today is the death penalty. “Oh, you can’t be serious! You say that murderers—they should be put to death as well?” That’s what the Bible says, and if they are not, the blood of the victims cries out from the ground.
Tom: We had a big issue—a prisoner on death row, I believe he was on death row, writes, “If you guys are really Christians, why are you killing us? Because the Bible says, Thou shalt not kill.” They made a big deal of that.
Dave: It says, “Thou shalt not commit murder”—that’s what the Hebrew says. This is not murder, but the Bible also says that “a man sheds man’s blood, by man must his blood be shed.” But you want to talk about the death penalty—God pronounced it! You sin, you die.
Tom: Dave, Jesus took it for us.
Dave: That’s right. That’s right. So, you’re going to complain about the death penalty, you are going to have to complain to God. He’s the one who pronounced it. He’s the one who laid it upon Him, “Thou hast laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
So, we fled that sword because, I mean, how is any human being going to get past this sword of God’s judgment to get back to the tree of life? And this is what God is saying. You are going to have life, you are going to have to pass the sword of my judgment. But one day, the second man, the last Adam, the perfect man, walked up to that sword, took it in his heart for us. That’s Jesus Christ! And I remember at least a few lines of the hymn that said, “His blood that flaming blade must quench, His heart its chief must be.” And He opened the way to eternal life, He is the way, and this is how He became the way—by taking the penalty for our sins. He took that sword, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,” the scripture says. So Jesus says, “I am the way.”
Tom: I am, the self-existent one.
Dave: I am the truth. Truth, Tom, you know, my eldest son, a philosophy professor—I can remember having a little discussion with him when he was back in university studying philosophy: “Well, what is truth?” Well, tell me. You’ve got an eight-volume encyclopedia on philosophy. It has three lines on truth. Truth? Well, tell me, what is truth? But we all know what we mean when we say “truth.” Number 1: It’s not physical: it doesn’t have any taste, smell, touch, sound, weight…
Tom: Although it’s related to—people think, things factual.
Dave: Right, truth, but it goes beyond the facts. “I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” but truth goes beyond facts. There is something we know is THE truth, and Jesus claims to be THE truth. Colossians 2, says of Christ, “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” So you want to know the truth—how could we describe the truth? I would say it would be the answer to the ultimate questions that we could ever ask. I don’t want to know the truth about some fact. It would be interesting, but that’s not THE truth. And this is why Jesus—we had it back in John 8—He said, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed, and you will know THE truth, and THE truth will set you free.” Obviously, there are no facts that will set you free. Facts might send someone to prison. So, we know that THE truth is in Christ; it is in His Word.
Tom: And He is called The Word. “Thy Word is truth.”
Dave: Exactly, exactly, and you can’t define that. Okay, so “I am THE way…”
Tom: Dave, let me just add this. It’s everything He says, it’s everything that He does.
Dave: And is.
Tom: And is, exactly.
Dave: “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. In him was life.” We’ve got it in John’s Gospel, chapter 1, “and the life was the light of man.”
Life? We don’t even know what life is, but the life we need to know and to have is eternal life, not just physical life but eternal life—the restoration of that relationship with God that Adam and Eve lost when they sinned back there. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me,” and we want to go to the Father, we want to be with God in His presence eternally. “If you had known me, you should have known my Father also, and from henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.”
Well, Tom, I mean, this goes beyond our comprehension. I just quoted from Colossians 2: “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” And everything that we need to know for eternity, for eternal life, for the relationship with the Father, is in Christ, and what a statement! This is not a mere man saying this! “If you had known me, you should have known my Father also. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Nobody else could dare say that. He is again claiming that He is God, the eternal one, one with the Father for all eternity and that He alone can bring us to Him, and that is only because He paid the full penalty for our sins.