I. "AND WHITHER I GO YOU KNOW, AND THE WAY YOU KNOW."
A. Jesus has said to His disciples, "Where I am going, you cannot come now."
1. Simon asked Him, "Where are you going?"
2. Jesus repeated that, "Where I am going you cannot come now, but you shall come later."
3. Peter asked, "Why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
B. Jesus then answered the question as to where He was going, "In My Father's house are many abiding places, and I go to prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I am going you know, and the way you know."
C. At this point Thomas burst in with the declaration, "Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?"
1. Thomas has been known as doubting Thomas.
a. Doubt is not always a bad thing. There is a doubt that is good, the kind of doubt that is honestly looking for answers.
b. There is a kind of doubt that is bad, that is the doubt that does not really want an answer.
c. Thomas may not believe that Jesus is risen from the dead, but he is willing to be shown. "If I can see."
2. There is a beauty about Thomas that is attractive; he is open, he is blunt, he is honest.
a. A lot of times when people are talking to us they assume that we know what they are talking about when many times we really do not know. But we will go on letting them talk as though we understood just what they were telling us about.
b. Not Thomas, he is not about to pretend that he knows something that he really does not know.
c. "Lord, we do not know where you are going."
d. If we do not even know where you are going, how can we know the way?
D. This is the second question asked by the disciples in this discourse of Jesus, and Jesus gives to Thomas the answer.
II. "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO MAN COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME."
A. Here we find four more radical claims by Jesus.
1. "I am the Way."
2. "I am the Truth."
3. "I am the Life."
4. "No man can come to the Father, but by Me."
B. Jesus once again uses that name of God, the "I Am," as He has done before.
1. 5:43, "I Am come in My Father's name."
2. 6:35, "I Am the bread of life.
3. 6:41, "I Am the bread that came down from heaven."
4. 6:48, "I Am that bread of life."
5. 6:51, "I Am the living bread that came down from heaven."
6. 8:12, "I Am the light of the world."
7. 8:24, "If you do not believe that I Am, you will die in your sins."
8. 8:28, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, you will know that I Am."
9. 8:58, "Before Abraham was, I Am."
10. 9:5, "I Am the light of the world."
11. 10:7, "I Am the door of the sheep."
12. 10:9, "I Am the door."
13. 10:11, "I Am the good Shepherd."
14. 11:25, "I Am the resurrection and the life."
15. 13:19, "And now I have told you before it is come to pass, so that when it comes to pass you might believe that I Am He."
16. 15:1, "I Am the true vine."
17. When the soldiers came to arrest Him in the garden, He asked them whom they were seeking, and when they answered "Jesus of Nazareth." He responded, "I Am He." When He said those words, "I Am," they fell backwards on the ground.
C. "I Am the way."
1. The way to where? To where He was going. Where was He going? Back to the Father who had sent Him.
2. You have heard that all roads lead to God. That simply is not true, there is only one road that leads to the true and living God. Jesus is the Way.
3. He had said in the context of warning them of false prophets who would be as wolves in sheep's clothing, that straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it.
4. He had said that He was the Way, and that He was the Door.
5. Solomon warned that there was a way that seemed right unto man, but the ways thereof were the ways of death.
6. You say, that is too narrow, I don't like that. I believe that there are many ways to God. There are many ways to gods, but only one way to the true and living God.
D. "I Am the truth."
1. When in chapter 18, Pilate asked Him, "Are you a King?" Jesus answered, "You said it, I am a King, to this end was I born, and for this cause I came into the world that I might bear witness of the truth." Pilate then asked, "What is truth?"
a. This is the question that man has been asking through the ages.
b. This is the question that the philosophers have argued over through the centuries.
c. When men have rejected the truth, it is interesting that they still search for the truth, even though now they confess that the truth does not exist.
d. Because they in their worldly wisdom have not found the truth, it is wrong to conclude that the truth does not exist. It is better to just announce their ignorance of the truth. But the word philosophy comes from the two Greek words which mean love of wisdom. Thus, their pride will not allow them to confess their ignorance.
e. Paul puts it so well in I Cor.1:21
, "For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God."
f. Zophar the friend of Job asked, "Who by searching can find out God to perfection?"
2. When man by intellect seeks to discover God he always comes up with the confession of ignorance. Agnostic. God reveals himself, and a little child is a better guide to the truth and understanding of God than some of these PhDs who have only sought to find him with their intellect. For the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned.
3. Man through his intellect has searched for truth, and has not discovered it. Jesus said, "I Am the truth."
E. "I Am the life."
1. When the Bible speaks of life, it so often is referring to spiritual life, as it so often is referring to spiritual death, when it speaks of death.
2. A person can be physically alive, but spiritually dead.
3. Jesus is here speaking of spiritual life.
4. This is what the rich young ruler recognized in Jesus when he fell at the feet of Jesus and asked Him how he could have this eternal life.
5. Jesus speaks of those who have heard His word, and believed on Him who sent Him as having passed from death to life.
6. John said, "He that believeth on the Son hath life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
F. "No man comes to the Father but by Me."
1. This exclusive claim of Jesus has upset a lot of people.
a. Again there are a lot of people who would like to believe that all roads lead to God.
b. The cross tells us that there is only one way to God.
2. There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus.
3. You may claim that you discovered God through meditation, you may be discovering a god, but you are not discovering the Father.
G. Again with the radical claims of Jesus, you either believe them or not. To believe is to have life eternal. To not believe is to abide in death.