John 13:33-14:14 occurs in the famous Farewell Discourse, the last series of teachings that Jesus gave his disciples. This time of teaching began after the Passover meal as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-5) and continues until Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32, John 17). The Farewell Discourse includes many noteworthy instructions, one of which is the sixth of Jesus’ I Am statements, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
Jesus was explaining to the disciples that he was returning to God the Father. Thomas asked Jesus how to follow him to the Father, and Jesus replied, “I am the way.” One of the ideas that John emphasizes strongly is that Jesus is the express image of the Father and that, through Jesus, the Father gives us access to Himself (John 1:14-18). Indeed, the invitation to become God’s children has been given to everyone; but it may be received freely only by believing in Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13, 3:16).
Jesus, by claiming to be “the way” to the Father, acknowledges these truths. As Jesus lived “the way” of the Law, fulfilling its righteous demands, he became our “way” to the Father. Because while conviction comes through the Law (John 1:17, Psalm 19:7), salvation comes through believing in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). And in the moment of believing in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in our hearts alongside our own spirit, sealing us as children of the Father (Ephesians 1:13-14) and, over time, making us more like God the Son, as we yield to the leading of the Spirit in our lives (Romans 8:12-29, 12:1-2).
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