The Way, The Truth, and The Life


Ryan Hayden I Am

I want you to imagine for a second, that I had a cure for cancer. I mean this cure worked 100% of the time. It instantly cured people of the cancer that they had and acted as an immunization for all future forms of cancer. It was proven time and again over hundreds of years. Everyone who took it was healed and there are many high profile cases of using it that seem downright miraculous.

Here’s the paradox: Now imagine that everyone hates this cure. Most people refuse to touch it. The medical community turns it’s nose up at it. There are doctors who make fun of anyone who uses this cure and they mock the people who have been healed by it.

We are going to look at a familiar verse this morning - probably the best known “I AM” statement of Jesus. A verse that many of our children memorize when they are very young. A verse many of you could quote from memory.

It is the most blessed news that anyone could is like the cure for cancer. It is miraculous. It works every time. It gives people what they are really yearning for and wanting in their heart and at the same time it is the most despised and hated thing on this earth.

It’s a paradox...but it is the truth. And we as Christians - real Christians - are nothing more than people who believe this simple statement of Jesus. Look, you’ll be mocked for it. You’ll be despised. Most people won’t want to hear it. But it is still amazing and true and miraculous.

Let’s look at our text. John 14. So far we’ve looked the following “I am” statements of Jesus:

  • I am the bread of life
  • I am the light of the world
  • I am the door
  • I am the good shepherd
  • I am the resurrection and the life

And now we are on to the sixth of seven statements in John 14:6, stand with me and we will all read it out loud together (Use the screen if you have to):

”6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Let’s do that one more time:

”6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

This verse that is really the heart of Christianity. I mean, if you were to describe Christianity in one short sentence, it would be hard to do better than this statement. Christianity is all about following Jesus and believing that He is the answer to all of these things.

It’s also super good news. I mean, it’s the best news anyone could get. It’s like a treasure map to happiness and fulfillment and purpose. It is the answer to all of the worlds problems.

And at the same time, it’s the most hated message in the whole world. This is not “how to win friends and influence people” message. Believing and preaching this message will not get you a job on Wall Street or anchoring the evening news. It is a message that is not welcome on college campuses and a message that more and more is not welcome in Washington D.C..

It is the simple message of Jesus, let’s read it one more time:

”6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Let’s have a word of prayer and then I’m going to give you two main points this morning explaining the message of this verse.

Let’s pray

Like I said, I think that this verse is making two simple points for us so that’s going to be our outline. The first point that the verse is making is...

Jesus is everything that people are looking for.

When Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth and the life” that is awesome news. Because those are three of the primary things that people are looking for.

People all over the world are yearning for direction. Every one of us has this question burning in our mind: ‘Who am I and where I am supposed to go?” We want direction. We want to know what we are supposed to do and where we are supposed to go and how we are supposed to get there.

And to that Jesus says “I am the way.”

I am your direction. If you want to figure out who you really are...follow Jesus. If you want to figure out what you are supposed to do...just follow Jesus. If you want to know where you are going and how you are supposed to get there...just follow Jesus.

The heart of Christ’s expectation for us is just “follow me.” That’s the message that JEsus preached to all his disciples: Peter and James and John were fishing and Jesus said “Follow Me”, Matthew was collecting taxes and Jesus said “Follow me.” That’s his message to you - “follow me.” I am the way.

If you’ve ever started a new job that you’ve never done before you can remember how overwhelmed you were on that first day. You likely got through it because the manager had you work with someone and just said “for the next couple days, follow that guy and do everything he does.” And you got it.

We travel quite a bit and sometimes we will be in a strange city and we have no idea where we are but we don’t worry about it because we have this little box on our dashboard that is just saying “Follow me and I’ll get you there.”

If you just follow Jesus, He’ll take care of you.

You say “Pastor, that sounds simplistic. That sounds too easy.” Yep. Christianity is simple and Christianity is easy. That’s why Jesus said that you had to have the faith of a child to accept it.

It reminds me of a story from the Old Testament. There was this Syrian general named Naaman. I mean, he was on top of the world. He was a big shot. Conqueror. Man’s man. You know. But the problem was Naaman got leprosy. He woke up one day and saw the spots that he knew meant he was going to die a terrible death and soon be separated from everything he knew.

But Naaman had a little servant girl who knew a prophet and the little girl was brave enough to tell him about this miracle working prophet so Naaman secretly went to him for a cure to his leprosy. Do you know what that prophet told Naaman to do? Go dunk himself in the nasty Jordan River seven times.

What? Just wash in that plain old dirty water seven times? It has to be harder than that. There has to be more to it than that. Naaman got angry but his servant told him he should at least try it and do you know what? It worked, God miraculously healed him.

A lot of people look at Jesus like Naaman probably looked at Elisha’s instructions. That’s too easy. That’s too simple. You have to be a simpleton or a fool to do something like that. That’s intellectual suicide. But Jesus says “I am the way.”

Do you think the world knows the way? Look at the heroes of this world. Look at the pro athletes. They make millions to toss a football or a baseball around and most of them - a huge percentage of them - end up dirt poor. Many of them end up in rehab or in jail.

Look at the movie stars - if a movie star stays married more than a couple of years it’s a marvel. Most of them are in and out of rehab and addicted to drugs and they are miserable people. Every year one of them takes their life or dies in a drug overdose. Their kids want nothing to do with them.

You want to tell me those people know the way?!

Jesus might be simple - but I tell you He works. If you are looking for direction you’ll find it in Jesus.

Another thing people are looking for is truth. People want to know what is up and what is down. People are looking for the truth. They want something solid they can believe in and hold onto.

And to them Jesus says “I am the truth.” “I am truth personified.”

If you want to learn how the world works, who better to learn from than the man that made it? Jesus is the truth.

If you follow Jesus, your eyes will be opened in ways you didn’t see before. You’ll be able to understand things on a totally different level than the rest of the world. the Bible will be plain to you. He is the Truth.

We live in this world that is always changing. Most people today are lamenting the fact that so many of our manufacturing jobs have gone over to other countries but what they don’t realize is that that is yesterdays news, right now a huge amount of white collar jobs are being outsourced to other countries. It’s all changing so fast.

But Jesus never changes. He is the rock, His word is perfect. He is the same yesterday today and forever. He is the beginning and the end. He isn’t going anywhere and He isn’t changing. Following Him will give you certainty in an uncertain world and truth in a world where it is hard to find.

And lastly, people are looking for life. They want to really live. And to them Jesus says “I am the life.”

the Bible teaches us that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. If you’ve never been saved you are literally the walking dead. Spiritually, you are dead. You have no spiritual life. But when you trust Christ you get eternal life.

And the closer you get to Jesus, the more His life shines through you.

You know, I look around at the lost world sometimes and I think “That’s not living.” Living for a paycheck - that’s not living. Living for the next drink or the next fix - that’s not living. Living for relationships that will never truly satisfy you - that’s not living.

But in Jesus we have life. Eternal life. Everlasting life. Overflowling life. More abundant life.

Can I speak to you Christians for just a minute? Make sure your life has some life in it. Don’t use your Christianity as an excuse to be a boring fudy-dud. Thomas Paine, a famous anti-Christian writer from the 1700s who grew up Quaker but turned his back on God said this:

If the God of the quakers had created the world, there would be no color or flowers in it.

I hope people can’t say that about you and me. I hope your life has some life in it because that is what God intends. More abundant life. Life flowing over. Have fun. Smile. Enjoy the many blessings God has given to you. There is nothing spiritual about being a boring colorless person with a frown on your face all the time. Jesus has given you life so live.

So to get back to the message - Jesus is telling us that so many things we are looking for can be found in Him. Life, Direction, Truth. All can be found in Jesus because He is the way the truth and the life.

So that’s the first point. And you might be saying to yourself “Pastor, that doesn’t sound so controversial. That sounds kind of good.”

Well, this second point is the part of this that people hate…

Jesus is the ONLY way to get what people are looking for.

In other words, the key statement of this verse is a statement of exclusivity. Jesus is saying that it is “my way or the highway.” He is saying what our world hates the most - that his way is better than any other.

Our culture is dominated by two “isms”: multiculturalism and postmodernism.

Multiculturalism is all about the idea that all cultures are equal. The multi-culturalists have trained us that our culture isn’t any better than the culture of…say…the Indians. It’s just different. Both are equally good and valuable. You can’t go around saying that our way is right. That’s taboo. That’s bad.

Postmodernism is all about the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth. The post-modernists on the college campus say that you can’t really know anything for sure. You can’t have big T truth. Just your truth and my truth. What’s true for me isn’t true for you and vice versa. What matters is you.

And that is it in a nutshell. That’s the spirit of our age: it is radical self truth. What matters is that you go your own way, be your own truth, live your own life. That’s why we have men saying they are women and people denying the way that God made them. That’s why you have these crazy people who are grown men who think they are actually a six year old girl stuck in a 40 year old man’s body. Or grown ups that believe they are actually cats and dogs stuck in human bodies. This craziness is just the natural logical outgrow of the spirit of our age which is “Be whatever you want. Whatever you say is right. Who am I to judge.”

And into this mess comes Jesus. And Jesus says none of that stuff is going to satisfy you. There is no direction in it. There is no truth in it. There is no certainty in it. It’s like building your house on the sand. That is no way to live and living that way will result in eternal death. And then He says I am “The way” “The truth” “The life” and “No Man cometh to the father but by me.” In other words this statement completely goes against the spirit of our age.

Man says...

There are many ways to God

Jesus says

I am THE way

Man says

All religions are good.

Jesus says

I am the way the truth and the life no man commeth to the father but by me

Man says

Your truth is as good as my truth

Jesus says

I am the way the truth and the life

Man says

You can go your own way and make your own path

Jesus says

I am THE way. There is no other.

The world is perfectly happy with us saying that Jesus is “a” way, but they don’t want to be told that he is “the” way. They are perfectly happy with us saying he is “a truth” but they hate that he is “the truth.” We can say “He is a life” but they don’t want to hear that he is “the life.”

And yet this is is what God calls on us to believe: there is no other way.

That means that if you are on some other road than the Jesus road you are on the wrong road and you are headed to destruction. That means if you are chasing some other truth than the Jesus truth you have no truth at all. That means if you are living a life other than the Jesus life its the wrong life.

Listen folks, God doesn’t want you to take your Jesus vitamins along with your other pursuits - He wants Jesus to be your way. He doesn’t just want to inject you with a little bit of Jesus in the morning along with everything else - He want’s Jesus to be your truth. He doesn’t just want you to have a little taste of Jesus on Sundays - He wants Jesus to be your life.

In other words: He’s not the salt and pepper - He’s the whole meal.

Colossians 3:4 says this:

”When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

“Christ who is our life.” Think about that.

Galatians 2:20 puts it this way:

”20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We are supposed to be living the Christ life. The whole thing is supposed to be about Jesus.


Listen folks, let me close this up by making three quick points of application (five minutes tops):

The first one is this...

The Christ life is the best life to live.

The life of simply following Jesus as our way, trusting Jesus as our Truth and letting Jesus live through us is a blessed life. It is a life that gives clarity in times of confusion, peace in times of storm, comfort in times of pain. It gives you eternal purpose.

So if you are not doing it yet - follow Jesus. Just go where He is leading you. Be where He is.

As 1 John 5:12 says...

”12 He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

So follow Jesus.

A second quick point from this verse is this...

Christ wants more than your leftovers, He wants you whole life.

Romans 12:1 says:

”Romans 12:1 (KJV) 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”

The Christ-life thing is a whole life thing. He wants all of you. He wants you to live as a human sacrifice.

A lot of people say “well I’ve tried the whole Christian thing and it didn’t work for me.” Maybe you are secretly saying that. But if all Christianity is to you is a once a week exercise that you don’t think about the rest of the week - that’s not what Jesus was talking about. He wants to be your way your truth and your life.

One more takeaway from this passage:

We must be willing to embrace the exclusivity of Jesus and the shame and reproach that comes with it.

We have to be willing to say what Jesus said here “That He is the only way.” That “no man cometh to the Father but by Him.”

Listen, that means that I can’t say to my Hindu friend Chirag, who I talk with every day, that his Hinduism is ok. That they are both paths to God. Because the Bible teaches that “no man cometh to the father but by me.” That means that it is not enough to be a moral atheist.

We have to be willing to say that Jesus is the only way.

We have the cure and His name is Jesus. The world may hate that message. But it’s still the only message that works.