Many years ago a philosopher named Rene Descartes claimed: “I think; therefore I am.” The world considered his deductive reasoning profound. But many years before that statement was uttered, Jesus had said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6) That statement truly is incredible. Jesus – in just that one sentence – was claiming to be the DIRECTION in which we must go, the REALITY that we must know, and the PURPOSE for our very existence.
Are you just wandering through life; bumping along from one circumstance to another; reacting to one crisis after another? Look to Jesus. He has a plan for your life. “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for peace and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.’ ” (Jeremiah 29:11) Perhaps you are unsure of your way because of darkness. Psalm 119:105 tells us that God’s word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Jesus is the Living Word of God, for, as Peter pointed out in his first epistle (2:21), Christ left “an example for you to follow in His steps”. If you are following Jesus, you are going the right way. Any other direction is a mis-direction; meaning, you took a wrong turn. How do we avoid those erroneous turns? By studying God’s Word because that is how we keep our eyes on Jesus. Isaiah 30:21 tells us: “And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” After Jesus rose from the dead, an angel at His tomb instructed the women who had come to anoint the body to tell His disciples not only that Jesus was alive, but also that He was going before them into Galilee, just as He had previously said (Mark 16:1-7). Jesus does not leave His followers wondering where He is or how to get to Him. He gives us “the way”.
Jesus also claimed to be “the truth”. This implies much more than just being a person of honesty and integrity. Jesus was saying that He is authentic, genuine, without hypocrisy. He is sincere, pure, and without pretense. Isaiah 53:9 states that there was not “any deceit in His mouth”; and Hebrews 13:8 assures us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever.” In other words, Jesus is REAL and an unchanging REALITY. In our Western culture especially, we are so attuned to and impressed by the physical world that we struggle to comprehend the reality of the spiritual realm. But the spiritual is actually more real since the physical is only temporary and is dying, decaying, and passing away. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31) He also said, “If you abide in My word… you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31,32)
Jesus also stated that He is “life”; that is, not only is He the source of our existence, but He is also the very reason we exist (Revelation 5:11). He declared that one of the reasons He came was in order to give us life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10b). Paul declared that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). John wrote, “that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. And we know that the Son of God …has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:11,12,20)
Seeing Jesus changes us, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.” Paul also said: “But by the grace of God I am what I am”. The more time we spend with Jesus – following His way, learning His truth, and abiding in His life – the more we become like the One who is the great “I AM” (Exodus 3:14).