As the total rejection of Jesus by His own nears (John 1:12; 12:37–43), He begins to withdraw from the public and focuses His ministry on the disciples (John 13–20:31). Gathering in an upper room to share their Last Supper together, Jesus delivers the “Farewell Discourse,” preparing them for the time when He would not be in their midst bodily. Imagine the fear the disciples face when Jesus speaks of His departure. Where is He going? How will they survive without Him? How do they get to where He is going? Fully aware of such fear, Jesus comforts His sheep by giving them real peace — peace that rests on Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
It is in this discourse that we find the sixth “I AM” statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This particular statement has three different attributes, two of which we have explored already in the past few days. Yesterday, we saw that Jesus is the source and power of life. This is a clear affirmation of His own deity because any reader of the Bible knows that only God is the source and power of life. The “I AM” statement we find in 14:6 reinforces the fact of Jesus’ equality with God when Jesus claims again to be the Life.
Likewise, we have also seen that Jesus is the only way to the Father. He spoke of this before when He called Himself the Door of the Sheep, and reiterates it again in 14:6 when He calls Himself the Way. This statement was offensive to the pluralistic culture of that day and remains so even in the twenty first century. Nevertheless, Jesus again affirms that if a person is to truly follow God, they can only do so if they follow God’s Messiah.
In addition to being the Way and the Life, in this statement Jesus reveals Himself as the Truth. He tells His disciples that He is the source, the normative standard of truth. Without Him, mankind would know nothing at all, and in coming to Him, His disciples arrive at the Truth itself. Because Jesus is the Truth itself, we can be confident regarding everything He says. We can be confident not only in His teachings recorded in the gospels but also the teachings found in the rest of the Bible. This is because Jesus tells us that all the Scriptures are inspired by God (Matt. 4:4;19:3–6). We can stand on Scripture’s teaching because the Truth Himself confirms it.