The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Posted January 2, 2022
Our lesson this week is going to be the first lesson of 2022! This lesson is also the first lesson in a new unit (month) of lessons that is titled – Teaching on Truth and Trials. This week’s lesson is being taught from a familiar passage of scripture coming from John 14:1-11.
Life for the Troubled Heart
Our lesson opens with Jesus stating to the disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me (v.1).”
Disciples’ troubled heart
So, why is it that Jesus tells the disciples not to be troubled in their heart? In our recent lessons, we would do a flashback and then a flash forward to Jesus’ final week. The last we had learned in our most recent lesson, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at the end of supper at the Feast of Passover.
Now, if you go back to the prior chapter, at the Feast of Passover, we will see that Jesus identified Judas Iscariot as His betrayer (John 13:2,21-30). The disciples were unaware at that time that Judas was the one that would betray Jesus, but the idea that a disciple was going to betray Jesus was very startling news for the other disciples. On top of that news, Jesus also predicted that Peter would deny Him not just one time, but three times (John 13:38).
Let us also add to these things that Jesus had also predicted His death just days prior to coming to Jerusalem (John 12:7). So, to answer our question, we could consider that all of these things were causing the disciples to be confused and troubled in their heart.
Now, let us take note as to why Jesus tells them to not let these things trouble them in their hearts. Jesus tells them that they ought not to be troubled in their hearts because they have professed to believe in the Lord. Therefore, if they believed in the Lord, they should also have faith in Christ, because as Peter stated himself, Jesus is the Son of God (Matt. 16:13-16). So, in this faith, they should accept that all things would work together for good, even in this moment where their hearts are troubled.
The answer for a troubled heart
I have found myself quoting what Paul said to the Romans about how all things work together for good for those that love the Lord (Rom. 8:28). As we move forward into the new year, we know that there are going to be good days and we also know that there are going to be times in this year when we will go through trials and tribulations. So, there are going to be days when our hearts will be troubled. Like the disciples, we will need an answer for what to do when our heart is troubled, and the answer is very clear – be steadfast in your faith in God.
After telling the disciples to believe in Him so that their hearts are not troubled, He then speaks of the heavenly kingdom. Jesus says to them, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know (vss.2-4).”
So, why did Jesus turn His attention to the Father’s house? In this case, again, Jesus had been foretelling His death and even departing from the disciples. So, again, to uplift the disciples in their heart (their spirit), Jesus speaks of His Father’s house. Not only does He speak of His Father’s house but He tells the disciples that they even have a room in His Father’s house to dwell in!
The answer, the medicine, for a troubled heart is not something that is of this world. Many people like to believe that they can mend a wounded spirit with things of this world but the things of this world can seemingly only temporarily help us. Jesus, again, puts the disciples’ attention on the Lord because the Lord truly is the medicine for the troubled heart. Just the thought of being with the Lord in His heavenly kingdom can be the calming touch for a troubled heart.
Jesus, Our Everything
Now, there are many people that question the idea of spiritual healing through the Lord. Many question the Lord’s healing touch for the troubled spirit because they either lack or have absolutely no faith in God. To some, God is nothing more than the figment of the imagination of those that say they believe in Him. To others, God is just another myth and fable like the Greek gods of Olympus. Then, there are many others that don’t believe the Lord exists at all. This next section of scripture in our lesson will show us Jesus speaking to those who are of little to no faith.
Jesus is the truth
After hearing Jesus speak of the kingdom of heaven, and going away to heaven, Thomas asks a question from a worldly mindset. You see, Thomas believed that Jesus was going away to some far away land. Thomas asked, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way (v.5)?”
Jesus was not going to some destination that was here on earth – He was going to go to heaven and prepare a place for us. So, Jesus responded to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (v.6).”
Now, there is great significance that we find in this passage of scripture, especially in Jesus’ answer to Thomas, which is why I refer to it often when I speak of the truth about heaven and God. First things first: Heaven and God are both real. When Jesus speaks of the Father and heaven, He is not speaking as if He is making up heaven or guessing what heaven is like. Jesus, we should note, is speaking in absolute terms.
Jesus stated, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.” Jesus stated that factually because, again, He was/is God in the flesh. Jesus, again, stated, “I go to prepare a place for you” – that entire statement is spoken in absolutes. So, pay close attention to the fact that Jesus spoke of being the way, the truth, and the life as more absolutes.
To Moses, the Lord once said, “I AM WHO I AM. Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you (Ex. 3:14).” God spoke in absolutes to Moses. Now, we see Jesus tell Thomas, “I AM THE WAY. I AM THE TRUTH. I AM THE LIFE.” These are absolutes coming from Jesus – not subjective opinions. Those that question Jesus, we should understand, are questioning absolute truths from Him.
Jesus is the way to heaven
The second thing that I want to point out from Jesus’ statement is that He states that He is the way. What is Jesus the way to? Well, if we look at Thomas’ question, then the suggested answer would be that Jesus was stating that He was the way to heaven. Not only that, but Jesus plainly states that no man could get to the Father except by Him!
Where is the Father? The Father is in His heavenly kingdom, and in our day, Jesus sits at His right hand (Acts 7:55-56; Heb. 1:2-3; Heb. 12:2; 1 Pet. 3:22). The only way that anybody can get to heaven is if they pass by the Judgment Seat of Christ. Now, consider this: How does one pass by the Judgment Seat of Christ? The only way you get beyond this judgment is if you have lived in the way of Christ!
Jesus set the example (the way) in which we ought to follow if we desire to enter into the Lord’s heavenly kingdom. Those who are of His sheepfold, will follow behind Him in His way so that they can safely make it to the gates of heaven. Jesus told us plainly that the way to heaven is narrow, therefore, we must follow Him closely so as not to fall off the narrow path so that we can inherit life eternal (Matt. 7:13-14).
Jesus is God
Lastly, Jesus finished off His statement to Thomas by telling Thomas, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him (v.7).”
As you hear me say often, and as I have already said in this lesson, Jesus was/is God. The disciples understood, at least in being able to verbally say it, that Jesus was the Lord’s only begotten Son. Now, I cannot say for certain if the disciples understood the magnitude of Jesus being the Lord’s only begotten Son at that time, but my feeling is that they did not fully understand.
As I said in our December lessons, Jesus being the only begotten Son of God is a true hurdle (stone of stumbling) for many people. The magnitude that I am speaking of is that God placed Himself into the womb of Mary and was born into our world. So, literally, when the disciples saw Jesus, they were seeing the Lord.
Now, there did come a time when I believe the disciples understood the full scope of what they beheld. John wrote, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).” That time came after Jesus’ death and resurrection, when the Spirit came and dwelt within the apostles.
Before that time, the disciples did not understand the magnitude of Jesus being God – the way, the truth, and the life. Philip, not fully understanding what Jesus was saying, said to Jesus “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us (v.8).”
In the closing of our lesson, Jesus again reiterates to Philip and the other disciples that they had seen the Father through Him, His preaching, teachings, and all of His works (v.9). Jesus said to the disciples that all He did, taught, and preached were not of His own authority but of the Father’s authority. What this means is that Jesus came to do the will of the Father (v.10).
Reflecting the Lord
On this thought, when you do the will of the Father, you become a reflection of Him! Yes, Jesus really was God in the flesh so He was definitely a reflection of the Lord that could be seen by those at that time. Now, I want you to know and understand that God can still be seen in our world today.
How can God be seen in our world today? Well, the Lord can be seen through both you and I. When we adhere to the will of the Lord – keep His truth and His way – then we can be just as Christ. The goal for the believer is to take on the mindset of Christ – to be Christ-like. When we truly are Christ-like, we take on the image of God to be reflected in our world to all of those around us.
Jesus said to the disciples, “believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves (v.11).” The Father being in Jesus and He being in the Father was true on the point that Jesus was/is God in the flesh. Yet, this was also true on another front in that Jesus in His obedience to the Father’s will, also resided in the Father and the Father in Him.
When we humbly submit ourselves in obedience to the way of God, we enter into fellowship with Him. In his first epistle, John wrote, “whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:5-6).”
So, again, when the Lord abides in us, His light is going to shine and we are going to be reflections of Him – His way and His truth. Through the ministering of His gospel, we also can give way to life eternal to all of those who choose to follow after Him.