Jesus’s I am statements are intensely loaded with authority. When he says in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”, it’s like he is saying he is the only way, the only truth, the only life.
Here, the word way is translated from a Greek word – hodos – which means a road or pathway. So, this is a metaphor. Jesus compares himself to a pathway to his Father’s house. Only one road leads to God, and I am that road, he says.
He is talking about the values found in his teachings, but I also think he’s talking about belief itself. Belief in him leads to God. Recognising that God is in him, and that he is in God, ultimately leads to God.
I wonder, when he tells Thomas, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me,” is it only Jesus who has this relationship with God, or is he saying that we all have that relationship?
I return to the authority of "I am", and I can’t help but think the central message here is that his relationship is different. He is the way to salvation. He is God. We are walkers along his path.
The Way was one of the names for the very early Christians. They travelled the world, preaching the word and the salvation of Jesus Christ. They knew The Way.
We think of the English noun way as a method or process. The way we make a cake is by mixing a batter and putting it in the oven. The way we improve our maths is by learning the timestable. The way to get into Heaven is through belief in Jesus and living according to his teachings. Simple.
If only it was that simple. We walkers are human, and we have to contend with temptation and sin, which hurts our humanity. We are distracted by all the shiny things along the way. We stumble along difficult terrain or slip when the going is particularly tough. Yet, if we focus on the words, “I am the Way”, maybe it would make the journey so much easier. Maybe how easy our journey is depends upon the quality of our faith in him?
I stumble when I forget that I am walking with Christ, yet I seem to float through life when my faith is strong.
We can trust that Jesus will get us to our destination as long as we keep our eyes on him.
Today's readings: Acts 6:1-7 Psalm 32 1 Peter 2:4-9 John 14:1-12
Source: Fifth Sunday of EasterThis Sunday