Do you have a best friend, one that you can tell anything to? Whether this is a childhood friend, a spouse, or someone you have grown closer to over the years, there are stories that you can tell and feelings that you can share only with people like this (without feeling uncomfortable). And, in fact, some of the things that you talk about with close friends simply wouldn’t make sense to others. Without the context and experiences that have been built throughout the development of this relationship, other people couldn’t understand if you were to bring them into the middle of a long-running conversation.
Jesus made some pretty bold statements during His ministry. Coming from anyone else (i.e., someone who couldn’t back them up), these claims would have seemed inappropriate. In fact, to those who eventually condemned Him to death, that was their accusation.
Here’s one of those bold statements that Jesus made:
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:5-6 NIV
Jesus’ claim of being the way, the truth, and the life is well-known to many of His followers. These three attributes differentiate Him from so many other spiritual leaders:
- As the way, Jesus is the only path to reconciliation with God. Human sin was too great for our own good deeds to cover our sin-debts, and none of our efforts can make things right with God again. Jesus is unique in His ability to bridge the gap between our fallen states and a holy God.
- As the truth, Jesus – being God – offers a clear illustration of the nature of God, as well as an explanation of where we came from and how much God values us. He not only taught the truth, but He also lived out a life that perfectly demonstrated what God is like.
- As the life, Jesus gave us the means to live as we were intended to. Restored to the family of God, and living with gratitude for His grace and love to us, we can find the joy and purpose for which we were created, when God crafted us in the first place.
Here is another statement that Jesus made:
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:24-26 NIV
Jesus describes His purpose – His chosen destiny – here in these verses:
- As the resurrection, Jesus frees people from their death sentence. We were dead in our sins (see Colossians 2:13), and Jesus gave us new life. With our sins meriting a guilty sentence, and the corresponding punishment already spelled out, we may as well have been physically dead, with our souls set to be eternally separated from God once our mortal bodies expired. Jesus not only rescued us from the penalty at the end of our path, but He also gives us riches and blessings even here on earth, long before we get to Heaven.
- As the life, Jesus gives us blessings in this life and for eternity (in addition to the graces listed above).
If you haven’t considered these aspects of who Jesus is, these verses offer some great content to meditate upon. Pause and read through them a few times. Give thanks to Jesus for being all of these things. Consider what each attribute means to your life. Talk with God about how you can share this good news with others.
However, there is something else about these two passages that I found interesting. This observation doesn’t detract from Jesus’ character and nature, but it might cause us to draw even closer to Him. Let’s take a look at that in the next part of this article.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.