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CHRIST THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.
John xiv. 447.
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also : and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Our Lord awakens the attention of his disciples, by telling them, “Whither I go, ye know:” adding further, “ And the way ye know.” This would greatly surprise them. The meaning of our Lord was, that they were not without some knowledge; though it was but a general knowledge, concerning Heaven, and concerning Himself as their guide thither. But Jesus was no doubt well pleased, that they should make more particular inquiries on so important a subject. The common error of mankind lies on the
opposite side to humility. There are many, who in their vain imagination fancy themselves more knowing than really is the case. Their little knowledge puffs them up. The modest disciple of Christ generally rates his attainments very low. He is conscious of much ignorance, and feels humbled to think how little he has profited by Christ's teaching. Still, if we heartily love the Gospel, and diligently wait on Jesus, praying for an increase of light and grace, our “ day of small things” will not be despised by this most gentle, most patient, and indulgent Master. Striving to follow Christ, let us be assured that we are in the way to heaven.
Our Lord did not take it amiss, that his disciples should occasionally interrupt him with their remarks. This gives life to the scene, and makes it real conversation. Thomas, (the same who manifested a doubting spirit on a subsequent occasion), now says on behalf of his brother-disciples, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” A question, which led to one of the most instructive declarations anywhere contained in Scripture.“ Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Let us consider each part of this sentence: humbly praying for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand the mind of our blessed Lord in this important matter.
1. First, Christ is the Way.
That is, he hath revealed, and in his own person he hath actually opened, a way in which sinners may be reconciled unto God. Without Christ, we could not have obtained pardon and mercy from our Heavenly Father. Being under sentence of death, banished and alienated from God, we had no power to atone for our own sins, or to propitiate our avenging Judge. Therefore Christ came to offer us terms of mercy, and bring us to God, that we might be forgiven, accepted, and justified. This 66
way” is, through faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus the Son of God. 66 Christ hath
redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." “ Through him we have boldness, and access with confidence, through the faith of him.” “ Having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, (namely, by his own incarnation and death,) let us draw near :" 6 let us come boldly unto the throne of grace.” Let us plead the name of Jesus the Son of God, whose blood cleanseth from all sin. 6. There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
2. Secondly, Christ is the Truth.
He is himself true: he cannot lie.—He is also the substance of those dim shadows, which formed the religious services of the Jews. They offered animals in sacrifice: but Christ presented himself as the true Paschal Lamb, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” They washed with water, and sprinkled with the blood of bulls and goats: but Christ with his own blood sprinkles our hearts from an evil conscience. “ The law was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” But chiefly, Christ is the Truth, inasmuch as he is our true Teacher, instructing us how we may come unto the Father. “ No man hath seen God at any time: the onlybegotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him.”
3. Thirdly, Christ is the Life He hath life in himself. He, as God, is the
Author of life to every living thing. And, as our Mediator between God and man, he gives new life, even life eternal, to as many as believe. As he said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and he that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.”
Life is manifested by breathing, motion, and action: therefore the spiritual life of all the regenerate is evidenced by their minding the things of the Spirit. They live unto God. They walk in the Spirit. They pray in the Spirit. By the Spirit they have access, through Christ, unto the Father. The Spirit, which raised up Christ from the dead, raises them to a life of righteousness. And now, being quickened together with Christ, they have their fruit unto holiness: even that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
“ No man cometh unto the Father, but by me,' said Jesus to inquiring Thomas. Oh, may we have grace to profit by the reply, so full of instruction, given to that disciple. Would we come to the Father, for pardon? Christ's meritorious blood is the Way.-- Would we learn every thing needful concerning that way? Christ is our True Guide.Would we practise what is well pleasing unto the Father ? Christ is our Life: he gives strength and ability to serve the Lord; causing the dead in sins to live again, the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the tongue of the dumb to sing.
CHRIST, AND THE FATHER.
John xiy. 7-11.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father ?
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. The conversation is again varied by another of the disciples, Philip; who makes answer to our Lord, and draws out further communications from him. Philip is mentioned in the Gospel-history, St. John vi. 7. He showed, on that occasion, an inquiring and yet somewhat doubting turn of mind. The same appears in his remarks at this time: so confused and imperfect were the notions and dispositions of these servants of the Lord !
Our Saviour had just been speaking of his Father. Throughout his ministry, and especially on this evening, he frequently mentions and addresses 66 The Father.” He was revealing important truths more and more distinctly to his disciples; and he wished them to become familiar with these truths. Therefore it is that he so often speaks of the Father. For the same reason, and in the same