2009-03-25 - Friendship, Even
John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
John 14:6 is our Scripture memory verse this week at the church I pastor. Every church should have a Scripture memory program. One verse a week is not much to ask of those who owe their very lives to Jesus Christ - both this Earthly life and eternal life. Hiding God's Word in our hearts is but a small thing we can (and should) be doing in service to our King. Yes, and He is our King. He is our Lord. We serve Him in all that we do (or we should be doing so). But we lose sight of this in our day-to-day lives. Resolving to commit a verse a week to your heart and keep it memorized - and I honestly believe what I am about to write: It will change your life. It might not do so right away, but give it six months, be faithful - even resolute - in your determination to add one new verse a week to your program while keeping the others current, and I firmly believe that you cannot help ending up happier, more content, joyful, and confident in your Christian walk. But that is not the topic for today. I actually want to talk about this verse.
Charles Spurgeon has an interesting interpretation on this verse which I think, regardless of whether he is right or not, adds insight into, and an easier application of this verse to our lives. (You can find this in sermon #3544 of his published sermons.) Traditionally, those interpreting the verse have simply understood Jesus as saying that He is the way, the truth, and the life, giving equal weight to all three. I have always understood it this way. But Spurgeon does something a little different. He takes the first part and reads Christ as saying, "I am the way to God." This is one complete thought. We can meditate on that alone. Then he takes the concept of Christ being the way to God and sprinkles it over the rest of the verse. "I am the way to truth. I am the way to life." He sums up this insight, by interpreting Christ's words as meaning in a fuller sense, "I am the way to the Father in a double sense - of being the truth which teaches men about the Father, and being the life which enables men to come to the Father, and have practical communion." It is an interesting insight into a well-known verse.
I don't know if Spurgeon is right, but his breakup, or breakdown, of the verse is consistent with the rest of Scripture, so we will not argue with the Prince of Preachers here. Let us say this, however: Christ is the way to truth and He is the way to life. Anyone who has a relationship with Christ will agree here. If you do not walk with Christ, you simply cannot know what you are missing, and the simple plea is to come to Christ in faith. You will never be the same. Christ has mercy to all who seek forgiveness. He forgives sin, but consider this: Christ's mercy is not in respect to the sin, but to the sinner. He forgives the sins of those who trust Him, but His love, kindness, friendship, even - is upon the sinner himself/herself. It is really that personal. Christ is the way to reconciliation with the living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. In Him is truth, and as so many know to be blessedly true, in Christ alone, we find life.
Soli Deo Gloria,