This Lesson is part of John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series.
Thomas wanted to be sure about the way Jesus was going. His failure to understand and his question to Jesus was the occasion for one of the greatest statements Jesus ever made about himself: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Jesus is not giving us directions like Google Maps: “Go right, after 700 metres take the first left, then proceed 2 kilometres and so on.” He is not pointing out how to get there but he is pointing us to himself. He is the way. Therefore, his command, “Follow me” becomes all the more important.
William Barclay points out something important about moral truth. A man’s character does not affect his teaching of geometry or physics or chemistry. But if a man proposes to teach moral truth, his character makes all the difference in the world. For example, an adulterer who teaches the necessity of purity or an aggressive dominating person who teaches about humility is bound to be ineffective.
Moral truth cannot be conveyed solely in words; it must be conveyed in example. And that is precisely where the greatest human teacher must fall down. No teacher has ever embodied* the truth he taught—except Jesus. Many a man could say: “I have taught you the truth.” Only Jesus could say: “I am the Truth.” [*embody means to represent in human form.]
As we look at the prayer of Jesus we see him define life: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3).” No other definition of life is needed. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:4). John also wrote in his letter: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11, 12).
Jesus in continuation of the claim, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Many people find this difficult to accept. But Jesus spoke the truth. The cross and the innocent and precious blood he shed there have opened the way to the Father (“a new
and living way” Hebrews 10:19, 20) to all who believe in him. He alone leads to the Father!