in John's Gospel -- Part 19
By: A.J. Higgins, M.D.
How often have you
been at a funeral service or graveside and heard the
words read "Let not your heart be troubled. Ye
believe in God believe also in Me." ? They are
the opening words of John 14, spoken by the Lord Jesus
in the upper room on the night of His betrayal. Later in
the same chapter the words are repeated serving to
bracket and underscore all that intervenes as the means
for peace and security. The words were spoken to give
peace and comfort. Like a mighty ocean all that
flows between the two occurrences of the expression of
Christ was meant to engulf and subdue every doubt and
disturbance, reducing the troubled heart to calm and
the scene John 14 describes. It is Passover night. The
upper room is the sight for the seventh Biblically
described account of the Passover observance. The family
gathered round the table is the Lord Jesus and His
disciples. As of old, the Passover meal was a time
for questions. Four questions occupy the time
spent keeping the feast. These however were
questions relating to the future, not the past of
Consider however the scene John 14 describes. It
is Passover night. The upper room is the sight for
the seventh Biblically described account of the Passover
observance. The family gathered round the table is
the Lord Jesus and His disciples. As of old, the
Passover meal was a time for questions. Four
questions occupy the time spent keeping the feast.
These however were questions relating to the
future, not the past of Israelís history.
The Lord Jesus had
spoken of His return to heaven to prepare a place for
His own. Thomas always a pragmatist questions,
"Lord we know not whither Thou goest; and how can
we know the way?" (John 14.5). To his question the
Lord responds "I am the way, the truth and the
life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me."
Now the Lord
Jesus had been speaking of heaven and Thomas knew it.
He was interested however in knowing how he, a
man, could be sure of his future destination. The Lord
Jesus answered his query with words of unmistakable
clarity. Words that revealed the
of a way. "I am the
way..." In this brief statement the Savior
revealed that there was a way back to God. It was
not to be found in a religion or ritual, but in a
person. Try to conceive of the vast difference
between simply instructing a lost person as to the way
they are seeking and actually taking them yourself.
In the latter case you become the way. So it
is in salvation. The Lord Jesus did not descend
from heaven to tell us about how to get to heaven.
He came to put away sin by His suffering and death
upon Calvary, and thus become the way for sinners to
But in His
words we see also the
of what He promises.
"I am ... the truth...". The world is
full today of many voices all clamoring to be heard; all
promising the elixir of life and happiness to those who
will indulge. Hedonism and humanism, social
committal and withdrawal, the new society and the new
morality, and a host of others all hold promise for man.
Like a giant pendulum society swings from each new
movement looking for truth and reality. If the
words of Christ mean anything then they mean everything.
He is either the embodiment and source of the
truth, or the saddest hoax ever perpetrated upon us. His
words leave no room for a middle ground. The work
of Christ and the person of Christ are offered to us as
sinners with all the reliability of an infallible
words we learn also the
of what He offers.
"I am ... the life...". In Christ is
life that is real and meaningful. James, one of the
writers in the New Testament asked "What is your
life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a
little time and then vanisheth away." (James 4:14).
The only thing that will give substance to the
vapour-like life of man, that will add value to the
brief day of our existence, is the life God intends us
to have. This life begins with a new birth, the
result of acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior
and Lord (John 3.1-16). It flourishes in the atmosphere
of the fellowship of God (1John 1:3,4) and finishes in
the abode of God (John 14.1,2).
7 of our chapter the Lord Jesus emphasizes the
of the way He opened.
He speaks of "from henceforth...". His
work at Calvary was Godís final and total answer to
the sin question. The exclusive and sole way for a
man to have peace with God, the forgiveness of sins, and
the assurance of heaven at the end of life is by
dependence upon the blood of Christ shed at Calvary for
sinners. He is not a way, but the way; He is not a
temporary way, but the final way to God.