The Nature of John 14:6
Almost everyone knows what the text of John 14:6 says. Even the most adamant atheist is able to divulge this verse from memory. Most people, if not all, may know what it says but unfortunately not everyone is convicted of its significance and what they must do in relation to what Jesus said. Jesus Himself boldly asserted in John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” You do not have to be an English scholar to recognize the exclusivity and the significance of such a phrase. Even to the common Jew this was astonishing and considered blasphemous. After all, it was for sayings such as these Jesus was crucified on the cross. The point of this article is not merely to tell you what you likely already know about this verse, but rather to demonstrate the nature of what Jesus said and its entities which is a matter of Heaven and Hell.
This statement in John 14:6 is the sixth of seven “I am”statements declared by Jesus in the gospel of John. This in and of itself motions us to consider the importance of what our Lord is saying. In each of these statements including this one, Jesus equates Himself with YHWH and thus illustrates that He indeed in deity; the creator and sustainer of all life (cf. Jn. 1:1-3). Closely connected to that declaration, Jesus states He is the way, the truthand the life. If Jesus indeed is the great “I AM”(and He is) then these three assertions are only logical and consistent with who He is as the giver of all righteousness, truth and life. I want you to observe the use of the article “the”with these three declarations. The article the suggests that these things can only be found in Jesus and absolutely no one else. And that’s exactly what He is saying. Jesus claims absolute exclusivity in terms of the pathway to righteousness and all that is good (cf. Psa. 1:1-3; 23). Jesus claims absolutely exclusivity to all that is true and holy (cf. Jn. 8:40; 17:17; 18:37; Heb. 6:18). Jesus also claims absolutely exclusivity to origin of all life and the ability to impart everlasting life (cf. Col. 1:16-17; Rev. 2:7).
These exclusive claims are what bothered the Jews and the religious authorities so much to the point they sought the cruelest death for Jesus. They could not fathom that Jesus was the Messiah. They did not believe that He was the Son of God and the rejected the premise that He stood on equal footing with YHWH, the great “I AM.”But on what basis did they reject Him? May I suggest to you that they rejected Jesus not merely because of what He said but rather how it made them feel. Jesus was very pointed and open with the religious leaders in particular calling them sinners, blind guides and hypocrites. Jesus called them out for their not because he wanted to hurt their feelings but because He wanted to save their souls! I would also suggest to you that those who have not submitted to Christ today and those who do not serve Him are doing so for the same reasons the Jews crucified Jesus. Generally speaking people do not like having to be reprimanded and told what to do. They do not like having their feeling hurt. Friends, are hurt feelings really what we are willing to hang our eternal destiny on? Are we going to reject Jesus and fail to adhere to His teachings simply because we don’t like it and we don’t want to make changes? I suppose that if we do then Heaven really doesn’t mean as much to us as we so often claim.
Jesus did not stop there, however. He climaxed His statement by stating absolutely no one will get to God unless it happens through Him. This statement is closely connected with a previous “I AM”statement found in John 10:7. That Jesus should even suggest such a thing could only mean He would accomplish something no one in the history of mankind would ever do and that’s exactly what happened.
Jesus was not just crucified but He rose from the dead! The crucifixion alone is not enough to support Jesus’ statement here in John 14:6. Many people have died for their cause or for their beliefs and their respective religious agendas. However, not a single one of them has risen from the dead never more to die except Jesus the Christ. The fact that Jesus did not remain in the tomb and that He appeared to more than 500 witnesses seals His testimony of having supreme rule and supreme say over mankind and how we live.
If Jesus is indeed the creator of the universe and all living things including His greatest creation which is man (and He is), then I would imagine He would have some say in how we ought to conduct our lives with regard to Him. It is unfathomable to think that Jesus’ role did not stop at the creation but it continued in that He became flesh and submitted Himself to the same things we experience every day. He died and rose from the dead and that ultimately gives Him authority over every single thing including our lives.
Therefore, if Jesus states no one can go to the Father except through Him then we better ensure we go through Him. That is why Peter and John were so adamant about who they were fearful of in the book of Acts (Acts 4:12). That is why Paul when he found some folk at Ephesus in Acts 19 ensured they were baptized into the name of Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no one else in history like Jesus and there will never be anyone like Him. Jesus’s statement is exclusive but at the same time no other faith is as inclusive as Christianity. The very ones who put Jesus to death were able to be saved. Persecutors like Paul could be saved. Jesus is the only way to Heaven but friends even the vilest of sinners can be saved through Him. May we accept this statement of Jesus and may we live by it all the days of our lives.