Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

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.
New American Standard Version

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Adam Clarke Commentary

I am the Way - That leads so the Father: - the Truth that teaches the knowledge of God, and directs in the way: - the Life that animates all those who seek and serve him, and which is to be enjoyed eternally at the end of the way.

Christ is the Way:

  1. By his doctrine, John 6:68.
  • By his example, 1 Peter 2:21.
  • By his sacrifice, Hebrews 9:8, Hebrews 9:9.
  • By his Spirit, John 16:13.
  • He is the Truth:
    1. In opposition to all false religions.
  • To the Mosaic law, which was only the shadow, not the truth or substance, of the good things which were to come. And
  • In respect to all the promises of God, 2 Corinthians 1:20.
  • He is the Life, both in grace and glory; the life that not only saves from death, but destroys it.

    No man cometh unto the Father - By any other doctrine, by any other merit, or by any other intercession than mine.

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    These files are public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 14:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    I am the way - See Isaiah 35:8. By this is meant, doubtless, that they and all others were to have access to God only by obeying the instructions, imitating the example, and depending on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the leader in the road, the guide to the wandering, the teacher of the ignorant, and the example to all. See John 6:68; “Thou hast the words of eternal life;” 1 Peter 2:21; “Christ - suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps;” Hebrews 9:8-9.

    The truth - The source of truth, or he who originates and communicates truth for the salvation of men. Truth is a representation of things as they are. The life, the purity, and the teaching of Jesus Christ was the most complete and perfect representation of the things of the eternal world that has been or can be presented to man. The ceremonies of the Jews were shadows; the life of Jesus was the truth. The opinions of men are fancy, but the doctrines of Jesus were nothing more than a representation of facts as they exist in the government of God. It is implied in this, also, that Jesus was the fountain of all truth; that by his inspiration the prophets spoke, and that by him all truth is communicated to men. See the notes at John 1:17.

    The life - See John 11:25, and the notes at John 1:4.

    No man cometh to the Father but by me - To come to the Father is to obtain his favor, to have access to his throne by prayer, and finally to enter his kingdom. No man can obtain any of these things except by the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. By coming by him is meant coming in his name and depending on his merits. We are ignorant, and he alone can guide us. We are sinful, and it is only by his merits that we can be pardoned. We are blind, and he only can enlighten us. God has appointed him as the Mediator, and has ordained that all blessings shall descend to this world through him. Hence he has put the world under his control; has given the affairs of men into his hand, and has appointed him to dispense whatever may be necessary for our peace, pardon, and salvation, Acts 4:12; Acts 5:31.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    John 14:6

    Jesus said unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life

    Brief expositions

    The way of a holy conversation; the truth of a heavenly doctrine; the life of a bliss everlasting (Leo)
    The way to beginners, the truth to the progressing (chap. 8:32), the life to the perfect (
    . I am the Way, leading to the truth; I am the Truth, promising life; I am the Life, which I give (St. Augustine)
    . I am the Way and the Life; the way on earth, the life in heaven: I am He, to whom you go; I am He, by whom you go (St. Augustine)
    . The way, in which we walk by charity; the truth, to which we cling by faith; the life, to which we aspire by hope. The life in His example, the truth in His promise, the life in His reward (St. Bernard)
    . Truth lies between way and life, as if the way to life were through truth (Leigh)
    . The true way to eternal life (Dr. Whichcote)
    . Without the Way there is no going; without the Truth there is no knowing; without the Life there is no living. I am the Way which thou oughtest to follow; the Truth which thou oughtest to trust; the Life which thou oughtest to hope for. I am the inviolable Way, the infallible Truth, the Godless Life. If thou remain in My way thou shalt know the truth, and the truth shall make thee free and thou shalt lay hold on eternal life. (Thomas a Kempis.)

    The Way, the Truth, and the Life

    Mistakes have been made the occasion of profoundest utterances. It was so here

    I. “I AM THE WAY.” Man’s primal communion with God in Eden was broken by his fall. Henceforth humanity became as an islet in mid-ocean, without material for bridge or boat. And the Eternal Word became flesh in order that He himself might become the causeway which should reconnect the island man and the continent God. He not only shows the way, as our Teacher, He is the way itself, the true ladder connecting earth and heaven. He is alike the portal, the line of direction, the true Scala Santa, “The great world’s altar stairs that slope through darkness up to God.” His Via Dolorosa is our Via Gloriosa. His valley of Achor is our door of hope.


    1. In distinction from what is symbolic. He is the fulfiller and realizer of all prophetic hints. Thus He is said to be the True Light, the True Bread, the True Tabernacle, etc.

    2. In distinction from what is phenomenal. For truths are ever greater than facts. There is no necessary morality in mere facts as such, e.g., in the fact that every particle of matter attracts every other particle in the direct ratio of its mass, and in the inverse ratio of the square of its distance. Truth is moral, and can exist only in connection with person, i.e., a person who shall somehow stand as its end or representation. Such a person is Christ. He not only has truth, He is the Truth--Himself its eternal embodiment; its source, means, and end. He is the meaning of facts. All things have been created through Him and for Him. He is creation’s definition or final cause.


    1. Of all animate existence; all things are also subsisting in Him.

    2. Particularly is this true of man.

    The Way, the Truth, and the Life

    Science tells us that there are three elements in light--the illuminating, the chemical, and the heat power. So in Him who is “the Light of the World” there is a threefold perfection.


    1. Christ the Way. One of the deepest feelings in man’s nature is that of a want of something which this world is found not to supply. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing, nor the ambition with success, nor the lust” with gratification. It arises from the terrible disruptions with the intervening chasms which sin has produced. Despite our downward tendencies, man is led by what he feels within, and sees around, to look up to a Divine Power. That Being we would fondly claim as a Father. But where is that Father? There is a way, but somehow we have lost it, and the difficulty is to find it. Conceive a planet wandering from its sphere. Now it is hindered by bodies attracting it or attracted by it, and forthwith it dashes through space, threatening to strike and break in fragments, or to kindle into a conflagration, all the other planets and suns it meets with. It is a picture of a wandering man loosened from the Central Power that stays him, and from the Central Light that should illuminate him. Neither wanderer will right itself till made to move in its old path. But how can we know the way? The flaming sword, turned every way to keep the sinner from the tree of life, has entered into him who is God’s fellow, and hath now power against us, and there is a way opened by which the sinner can come into the very presence of God. “I am the Way.”

    2. Christ the Truth. By truth, in this passage, we are not to understand abstract or general doctrine. Systematized truth may serve most important purposes; but it is not to such that our Lord refers. Truth is defined by philosophers as the agreement of our ideas with things. If we know God as He really is, then have we truth in religion. But how can we know God as He really is? Do we not feel as if He were at an infinite distance, as if we could no more rise to Him with our spirits than our frail bodies could mount from earth to heaven? Who will give us wings that we may ascend to Him? Alas! the attraction of earth is too powerful to admit of our rising to Him. The approach must be on His part. Plato was obliged to say: “The Father of the world is hard to discover, and when discovered cannot be communicated.” But when we go on by Christ as the Way, He introduces us to the Father, and we have the truth. God is no longer at a distance; “Emmanuel, God with us.” Aristotle has said that the mind as it came from its Maker is organized for truth, as the eye is to perceive light and the ear to hear sounds. He who has found Christ knows that he has found the truth. With the truth there is assurance; the eye has found the light, the ear is listening to the sound. This, this is the reality of things.

    3. Christ the Life. It is of vast moment that we know the way, all good that we reach the truth; but we must have more. The well-formed statue is an interesting object, but none of us would exchange our living condition for that of the chiselled marble. Along with the truth we must have life. There are few or no sinners so dead that they do not wish at times to have life. And yet when they would excite and stimulate it, they find that they have only the cold and the clamminess of death. Feeling never will be excited by a mere determination to raise it. There must be a something to call it forth. Nor will it be evoked by an abstract statement or general doctrine. It is called forth by a living person. Christ so lovely and so loving. Apprehended as the truth He becomes the life.

    II. THE TRUTHS IN THEIR CONNECTION. The full truth is to be found in the union of these various truths. If we would have a true religion, and a proper theology founded upon it, we must give Christ the supreme place. Displace Christ the head from this His proper position and the whole form becomes disproportioned.

    1. There are some who would have men first to find the way, and then in the way to find Christ. Who would have, e.g., inquirers first to find the true Church, and then through it to find Christ. But this is to reverse the Scriptural order.

    2. Some would have us first seek the truth, and then seek Christ. Seekers of truth deserve all the honour that has been paid to them, but they will never find truth in religion till they find Christ. So Justin Martyr acknowledged, and Augustine, and Luther. Let us not go out with the tapers of earth to seek the sun. Any other light can at best be merely like the star to guide the wise men, serving a good end only so far as it guides us to where Christ as the truth is to be found.

    3. Again, some would find life without Christ. Their appeal is to inward feelings, sentiments, and intuitions. But what, I ask, is to evoke such sentiments from our dead and sinful hearts? They tell us by such grand and generous ideas as the infinite and the eternal. But these ideas call forth love only when they are associated with a living being whose love is infinite and eternal. And such is Christ.

    4. There are some who would seek for Christ under one of these aspects or in one of these characters, but who do not care for the others.

    The Way, the Truth, and the Life

    1. Christ is the Way, for He recovers man from his godless wandering. The metaphor views man in the light of his practical obliquities. He is estranged by wicked works from the filial fellowship in which the life of Jesus Christ was unchangeably centred. A way is that which connects the distant and inaccessible. Traversed as is our land in every possible direction by the highways of commerce and civilization, we perhaps scarcely feel the force of this figure. Poor Livingstone, who waded waist deep through pestilential marshes for weeks, to die at last in a miserable hut by the lake shore; the traveller, who has to cut his way for hundreds of miles through tangled forest and jungle at the rate of half a mile a day; the emigrant, who has to cross the trackless alkali plain, and who may perish midway; the military commander, who had to carry his forces over mountains, some sections of which are almost perpendicular,--know how a well engineered path is the first condition of successful movement. A way is that which makes movement in some specific direction possible. Movement towards God is impossible without the work of Jesus Christ the Mediator. Jesus Christ brings together in His own person the two most distant objects the whole circle of the universe can contain, God dwelling in unapproachable light, and man wallowing in guilt, worldliness, transgression. Christ subverts and destroys the work of sin in human nature, and makes progress towards God possible to us once more. In Him the alienated are brought back into relations of gentleness, endearment, and obedience.

    2. Christ is the truth, for He recovers man from his godless error. The metaphor looks upon man from his intellectual side. Men are estranged from God in their thinkings, “alienated from the life of God by reason of the ignorance that is in them.” Christ answers our intellectual need. “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” Scientific truth puts us into intelligent relation with the world of established scientific fact. Historic truth puts us into intelligent relation with the facts that have determined the growth of particular types of government and civilization. Sociological truths puts us into intelligent relation with the facts that have moulded the social life of mankind. Jesus Christ puts us into intelligent relation with all the vital facts of God’s being and nature and government. He is the only possible word by which God can address Himself to a world of sinners. No intellectual activity, no induction of reason, no range of research can fill up this chasm in the mind of man. We can only know God as we give ourselves up to Jesus Christ, and suffer the energy of His spirit and presence to rule us. He is made unto us the wisdom by which we come to the saving knowledge of God. All knowledge that lies outside this sphere of contract with Christ is at the very best but adroit guess work.

    3. Christ is the Life, inasmuch as He raises men from their godless insensibility and death. The ideas deepen as they succeed each other. Knowledge passes into life. “This is life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” He stands forth in the midst of the universe to counterwork the disintegration and decay that set in when the tie binding all life to its first Centre was ruptured by transgression. Union with Christ, our everlasting Life, will guard against the shock and sting and disability of death. The man who is sailing under trustworthy captainship, and in company with genial friends, cut of one zone into another, is scarcely conscious of the lines of demarcation over which the ship glides. So with the man who lives and dies in fellowship with Christ. Throughout the months of summer, darkness is unknown in the latitudes of the far north. The rising and the setting suns blend their light without the hairbreadth of a shadow between. Tourists are all eager to visit the “Land of the Midnight Sun.” It seems to me that for the man who is vitally united to Christ, the event of death is very much like that. He sails through the quiet, solemn seas of the midnight sun, and before the light of the earthly life has quite gone the light of a nobler sunrise has come to blend with it. In the solemn crisis of transition, for the man who has become one with Christ his Life no darkness deepens, and the shadow of the grave marks the dayspring.

    4. Christ’s words present a corrective to all distracted faith. He asks from His followers concentrated thought and attachment and expectation. They had sought a way outside Christ, though a way through whose mazes He was to guide them; a truth outside Christ, though a truth the exposition of which was to come from His lips; a life outside Christ, though a life of which His immortal reign was to be the seal and the defence. The purport of these words is, that they must seek their all in Christ. They must let their eye rest upon His person as the one centre from which all saving power, all teaching light, all quickening inspiration must come. Mark how in these words the Master leads on His disciples to faith in a Saviour unseen. The love of the disciples had been very apt to glide into an idolatry of Christ’s human form. But all this is to be corrected by the fresh events that are at hand. The text suggests a warning against all low and dishonouring views of the Saviour’s work and person. (T. G. Selby.)

    The Way, the Truth, and the Life

    I. I AM THE WAY. To what? To our eternal destiny. There are ends closer at hand than this which man, if left to himself, seeks before all other things--pleasure, fortune, glory, science. That is what the heathens ardentlydemanded of their gods; but never by a single word did Jesus Christ offer to lavish them upon men.

    1. I know that when we speak of the higher aim of life, worldlings shrug their shoulders and smile; and a certain school, now in high favour, gravely affirms that we can neither attain it nor even so much as understand it. But I needs must know whither I go, and if I deem foolish the man who would fling himself in a railway train or embark upon a vessel without asking where the steam power or the breath of the wind is taking him, by what appellation shall I characterize those who allow themselves to be borne away in the voyage of life without knowing whether their destination is death or life?

    2. “But,” says the sceptic, “supposing a higher life is indeed reserved for man, how shall he know it? So many ways are open before us! How find out the right path?” Not much science is required to discover which is the path to be preferred, of pleasure or duty, iniquity or justice, selfishness or sacrifice, pride or devotion, purity or corruption. And heathens themselves have understood this well. But how much more simple, and solemn has the question become since Christ said, “I am the Way!” To know if He speaks true, I have only to consider whither He means to lead me. What then is the end which He sets before me? It is the one, holy, just and good Being reigning over all beings: it is harmony governing the world, man loving man. Well, if that is the end towards which Christ would lead me, what need have I to argue further? Were I the most ignorant of men, I would instinctively understand that I must indeed tend towards this aim. Were I the most learned, what could I add to this ideal?


    1. That is what greatly astonishes many of those who hear Him. They are willing to accept Christ as the instructor of souls. But if Jesus Christ had been nothing more than this, we instinctively feel that, after having guided men to the true God, He should have retired in the background and re echoed the words of the Forerunner: “God must increase, and I must decrease.” Others, and among these many of the noblest benefactors of mankind, have been compelled to speak thus. Aristotle, Copernicus, Newton, Bacon, Descartes might be unknown to us without this fact depriving their works of aught of their value. And in the religious order, knew we nothing whatever of Moses, David, or St. Paul, we would none the less be in possession of the genesis of the world, of the most heart-thrilling hymns and of the grand doctrine of grace. These men were the witnesses of the truth. This Jesus Christ has also been; but more than all this, and that is why He utters these words, which in the lips of Moses, David, or St. Paul, had been blasphemy: “I am the Truth.”

    2. What is truth? It is the exact relation between two things. Thus a word is true when it corresponds perfectly with the fact or the idea it expresses; and arithmetical calculation is true when it gives accurately the results of a relation between two different quantities. Every truth, therefore, supposes a relation. Well, truth in religion will be the harmonious, and perfect relation between man and God. Now Jesus Christ has not only taught us what this relation is, but that He has realized it in His person. You ask what is the true religion. We point to Jesus Christ and answer: “Behold it.”


    1. Life, which is the most habitual and common of phenomena, is the most unfathomable of mysteries. Materialism, which triumphs today in so many schools, is stopped by this problem as before a brazen door forever sealed. The Eternal God alone calls forth life; I know the terrible objection, if God alone is the Author of all life, wherefore evil? To this the gospel answers that the world is not in a state of order, that evil has, from the origin, been the consequence of the improper use of liberty. But have you observed how closely the notion of sin and that of death are bound up together; have you remarked that the sublime promise of life is essentially reserved for that alone which is in harmony with the will of God? Consequently, strong is our faith, we are able to say to all the powers of evil: “You shall not live forever.” The gospel is the doctrine of life; earth has been visited by the perfect Being, and according to His own words: “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” Alone the Son of God hath life in Himself. Therefore can He say: “I am the Life.”

    2. As Christ possesses life in Himself, He also brings life. Life alone can bring forth life. Christ came into a world which was literally dried up. What He did in Judea He has done in Rome, in the uncivilized world; what He did in olden time He is doing today; and whilst it remains a fatal law for these nations that civilization alone leads them to destruction, it also remains a certain and striking fact that civilization with Jesus Christ is able to transform and save them. But if Christ brings life to nations, it is by imparting it to souls individually. (E. Bersier.)

    The movement of the ages

    May it not be said that the movement of our age is towards life? I sometimes fancy that I can discern three epochs in the Reformed Churches corresponding in the main to those three mighty words, via, veritas, vita. The Reformers themselves no doubt laid the stress chiefly upon this first. It was on this Popery had gone most astray, obscuring the doctrine of justification by faith alone. The epoch following was essentially dogmatic when the doctors drew up systems of the truth. It was now indeed Christ as veritas! but the dogma taken alone led to coldness, dogmatism, sectarianism and formality. Happy will it be for the Church if, not forgetting the other two, she shall now be found moving on to the third development of Christ as the Life, which well regulate the two former aspects, while it consummates and informs them. The life must develop the individual, and on individuals the Church depends; for in God’s sight it is no abstraction. (J. Mackintosh.)

    I am the Way

    The Way

    The most precious things lie in the smallest compass. Diamonds have much value in little space. Those Scriptural sayings which are fullest of meaning are many of them couched in the fewest words.

    I. HOW JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY AND HOW HE COMES TO BE SO. A way supposes two points--from which and to which.

    1. Christ is the Way

    Now, when the sin of God’s people was moved from them to Christ, the wrath of God went where the sin went.

    2. Christ is the Way


    1. What sort of way. He is

    2. For what sort of people. For all sorts


    1. How do we make Christ our way? As we make any other way our way: by getting into it.

    2. In order to keep the way your own, all you do is to continue in it. “The just shall live by faith,” not by any other means. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

    Jesus the Way

    This word “way” may mean either one of two things--the road along which you must go to reach a certain place; or the thing that must be done in order to secure any particular end. When we think of heaven, Jesus is the way in both these senses. He is the road along which we must walk. He has done all that is necessary, in order that we may get there. The way of salvation through Jesus is

    I. A PLAIN WAY. A paved street or a turnpike road, is a plain way. But if we are travelling over a sandy desert, or through a rocky country where there is nothing to mark the path, then we are in a way that is not plain. It is hard to find the way, and at every step, we are liable to get off the right track. The way of salvation in Jesus is easy to find and easy to keep, if we only ask God to help us in finding and keeping it. (Isaiah 35:8; Habakkuk 2:2). The father of a little girl was once in great trouble on account of his sins. He lay awake, after going to bed one night, in fear and dread. His little daughter was sleeping in her crib beside his bed. Presently she began to move about uneasily. “Papa, papa!” she called. “What is it, my darling?” he asked. “Oh, papa, it’s so dark! Take Nellie’s hand.” He reached out and took her tiny little hand, clasping it firmly in his own. A sigh of relief came from her little heart. At once she was quieted and comforted. That father felt that his little child had taught him a valuable lesson. “Oh, my Father, my Saviour,” he cried, “it is dark, very dark in my soul. Take my hand.” So he turned to Jesus and trusted in Him. A minister had a son in the army. Tidings came that his son had been wounded and was not expected to live. On arriving there, the doctor said, “He may die any moment.” With a sad heart, the father went in. “Oh, father,” said the wounded man, “the doctor says I must die, and I am not prepared for it. Tell me how I can be ready. Make it so plain that I can get hold of it.” “My son,” said the father, “do you remember one day, years ago, I had occasion to rebuke you for something you had done? You became very angry and abused me.” “Yes, father.” Do you remember, after your anger had passed off, how you came in and threw your arms round my neck and said: ‘My dear father, I am so sorry, won’t you forgive me?’” “Yes, I remember it very distinctly.” “Do you remember what I said? Oh, yes. You said: ‘I forgive you with all my heart,’ and you kissed me.” “Did you believe me?” “Certainly.” “And then did you feel happy again?” “Yes, perfectly happy, and since that time I have loved you better than ever before.” “Well, now, my son, this is the way to come to Jesus. Tell Him, ‘I am so sorry,’ just as you told me: and He will forgive you a thousand times quicker than I did.” “Father, is this the way. Why, I can get hold of this.” And he did get hold of it and was soon happy. After awhile, the doctor came in. He felt the pulse of the wounded man, and said with surprise: “Why, Colonel, you look better.” “I am better, doctor. I’m going to get well.” He got well; and he is living now, the joy and comfort of that father who made the way of salvation so plain that he could get hold of it.

    II. A BROAD WAY (Matthew 9:28; Revelation 22:17). There was a poor sailor who had lived a very wicked life. Once, while far off at sea, it pleased God to awaken his conscience. Then he was in great distress. There was no one on board to tell him what to do. One night he lay in his berth, and in the dim light of the feeble lamp, he was reading the Bible. He came to John 3:16. He put his finger on the word “whosoever,”“Whosoever,” said he, “that means anybody; that means everybody! Why, that means me!” Then he turned in faith to Jesus, and He received him. He got into the broad way of salvation through this sweet word. One day a minister was visiting with a friend among some of the poorest of the population. He entered a wretched looking house. A rickety bedstead, a couple of broken chairs, the remains of a table, and a few pieces of earthenware on the shelf, made up all the furniture. In the middle of the room a miserable looking woman lay on the floor drunk. The minister said to his friend: “Let us pray for her.” They kneeled down and prayed that God would have mercy on this poor woman. She lay there still and stupid, and seemed to take no notice. They went away. Some months after the minister was going again through that part of the city. A well-dressed, respectable-looking woman came up and spoke to him. “Do you not remember some months since praying over a woman who lay drunk on the floor?” “I do.” “Well, sir, I am that woman. I was respectably brought up by Christian parents. I married; but after awhile my husband died, and left me with three children in utter poverty. I saw no way of support but by my own shame. Then I took to drinking to drown my sorrow. I was at the lowest point of sin and misery when you stopped and offered that prayer. It saved me. It made me think of my dear mother, now in heaven. And, by God’s help, I hope yet to loin her there.” Oh, it is a broad way of salvation that can take in such poor wretched creatures as this! A gentleman was sent for once to visit one of his class, a newsboy, named Billy, who was very ill. As he entered the room, Billy said: “Oh, captain, I’m mighty glad to see yer.” “What can I do for you, my dear fellow?” “I wanted to ax yer two questions. Did you tell us the other night as how Jesus Christ died for every feller?” “Yes, ‘Jesus Christ tasted death for every man.’” “Good!” said Billy: “I thought so. Now did you tell us as how Jesus Christ saves every feller that axes Him?” “Yes,” said his friend; “Everyone that asketh receiveth.” “Then I know,” said Billy, with a feeble but happy voice, “That He saves me because I axes Him.” The teacher paused to wipe away a tear from his eye. Then he stooped down to speak to the boy. But Billy’s head had dropped back on his pillow of rags, and his happy spirit had gone to Jesus.

    III. A NARROW WAY. It is a broad way, because the greatest sinners may come into it, and any number. It is a narrow way, because when sinners come into it they must leave all their sins behind (Matthew 7:13).

    1. There is a vessel lying at anchor, It can make no progress while the anchor holds it. It may rise and fall, as the tide rises or falls; but it cannot move away. And just what the anchor does to the vessel, one sin, one wrong thought or feeling indulged or allowed, will do for the Soul. It will keep it from going on in the way of salvation.

    2. A lady once was led to see that she was a sinner. The thought of her sins made her feel very unhappy. The difficulty was just here. She had been a very charitable woman, and wanted to trust in part to good works. One night, after weeping and praying in great distress, she went to bed. In her sleep she dreamed that she fell over a dreadful precipice. In falling, she caught hold of the branch of a tree. In her terror she cried out: “Oh, save me, save me!” She heard the voice of Jesus saying: “Let go that branch, and I will save you.” But she was unwilling to loose her hold. Again she cried: “Oh, save me!” The same voice said: “I cannot help you while you cling there.” At last she let go, expecting to be dashed to pieces. But, instead of this, she found herself caught in the strong arms of her Saviour. In the joy of feeling herself safe, she awoke. And so in her dream she had learned the lesson which she had failed to learn in her waking hours. She saw that the way of salvation was too narrow for her to carry any of her good works into it.

    IV. THE ONLY WAY. Some people think that there are a great many ways to heaven, and that one of these is as good as any of the others. What does God say about it? (Isaiah 43:11; Acts 4:12). No one can ever get to heaven who does not go there through Jesus Christ. Many will go to heaven without knowing how they get there. But they will find it was Jesus alone who brought them there. A little girl was very ill. She asked: “Papa, does the doctor think I shall die?” With a very sad heart, her father said: “My darling, the doctor is afraid you cannot live.” Then her pale face grew very sad. She thought about the dark graves, and her eyes filled with tears as she said: “Papa, the grave is very dark. Won’t you go down with me into it?” With a bursting heart, her father told her he could not go with her, till the Lord called him. “Papa, won’t you let mamma go with me?” It almost broke that father’s heart to tell her that, much as her mother loved her, she could not go with her either. The poor dear child turned her face to the wall and wept. But she had been taught about Jesus, as the Friend and Saviour of sinners. She poured out her little heart to Him with a child’s full faith, and found comfort in Him. Soon she turned again to her father, with her face all lighted up with joy, and said: “Papa, the grave is not dark now. Jesus will go with me.” But Jesus is the only one who can do this Psalms 23:4). Some years ago there was a distinguished lawyer, who had an only daughter, the light and joy of her father’s life. The mother of this young girl was an earnest Christian woman. She had tried to teach her child that Jesus was the only way of salvation. But her husband was an infidel. He had told his daughter that we could get to heaven without the help of Jesus. This daughter loved and honoured both her parents; but as her father told her of one way and her mother of another way, she could not make up her mind which of these two ways was the right one. At the age of sixteen she was taken very ill. One day, she said to her father with great earnestness: “Father, I am going to die. What must I do to be saved? My mother has taught me that the only way of salvation is in Jesus Christ. You have taught me that we can be saved without Jesus. Shall I take my mother’s advice or yours?” The strong man was deeply moved. After a while, he came to the bedside of his daughter. He took her pale, thin hand in his, and said slowly but solemnly: “My darling daughter, take your mother’s way.” Here is a ship at sea. She has been overtaken by a dreadful storm. Her masts are broken, her sails are rent. She has sprung a leak, and now the pumps are choked, and can no longer be worked. The water is rising. It is very evident that she cannot be kept afloat much longer. There is only one way left to the poor sailors for saving their lives? What is that? It is to take to the lifeboat. And we, as sinners, are just in the position of such a storm-tossed wreck at sea. Jesus is the lifeboat. (R. Newton, D. D.)

    Christ the Way

    We could never rejoice in this His way, if He merely stood in the way as a sign post, or went before us as a Guide. God be praised, our Jesus is not only Counsellor, but mighty as well; and not mighty only, but Mighty God! (Isaiah 9:6). If He is as a sign post, He is one with living arms; for He receives us to Himself, from His Cross He draws us up to Himself, He lifts us upon His shoulders; in short, He is Himself the way, the new living way, which, like a full flowing river, bears along our little hark, and brings it to the ocean of a blissful eternity. Conrad Rieger sets before us Jesus as the way, thus: “Where is the man who will give himself to another to be his way? If the king could not cross over a dyke, and were to say to one of you, ‘Lay thyself in this dyke to make a bridge that I may cross over upon thee,’ where is the meanest subject in the land who would consent to do it? But what no man would like to do for another, that Jesus does for us all.” (R. Besser, D. D.)

    Christ the way to God


    1. As a Teacher. He came into a world that was filled with error and falsehood. Everywhere men were groping in the dark, following “blind leaders.” And the Saviour affirmed, “I am the Light of the World.” “I am the Truth.” All spiritual truth is associated with Christ, because it proceeds from Him and terminates in Him.

    2. As a Mediator. Many can see that Christ is “the Way” as a Teacher, but not as a Mediator. But if Christ be a Teacher, and nothing more, then He rather shows “the Way,” than is “the Way.” Between man and God there stretches a wide gulf which sin has opened. Amidst the many expedients which man vainly devises, the Saviour interposes and becomes the “one Mediator between God and man.”

    3. As such


    1. Truth. Immediately our Lord adds, “I am the Truth.” From the Fall until now the human mind has been in matters of religion avaricious of error. Now, amidst the many ways which men have invented, Christ presents Himself as the true Way--the Way which God provides, and which Scripture reveals. What other way so commends itself to an enlightened reason as this.

    2. Purity. False systems of religion must accommodate themselves to man’s frailties, and enable him to compound for his sins; it is only the gospel that presents a pure and perfect standard.

    3. Happiness and security. Emphatically may it be said that it is a way of peace. But can you affirm this of those methods of salvation which man has invented? “Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven.” Safe as well as happy!--for as this is allying way, all who walk in it participate in that eternal life which it bestows (Isaiah 35:8-10). I think of every imagethat can suggest this security, but they all fail adequately to shadow it forth. I think of Noah sheltered in the ark; of Lot, plucked as a “brand from the burning;” of the criminal pursued by the officers of justice reaching the Temple; of the man slayer in the city of refuge. “There is no condemnation,” etc.

    4. Simplicity. What can be plainer than this promise, “He that believeth, shall be saved;” or than this invitation, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour,” etc.; or than this assurance, “Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out;” or than this command, “Look unto Me, all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved”?

    5. Exclusiveness. “There is no other name,” etc. (H. J. Gamble.)

    Make sure that you are in the right way

    When I was at Fall River, I was obliged to rise at four o’clock in the morning to take the train. I took my carpet bag in my hand, and ran, but was in trouble lest I might be running directly from the cars, instead of towards them. There was not a person in sight; but I saw a light in one upper window. A watcher was there. I rang the bell, and asked information as to my way. It was given. I was about right--only needed a little help, and now, knowing that I was in the right way, I did run. A bird might have counted it doing well to keep up with me; for I expected every moment to hear the bell, and the rushing off of the train, and then I should be there, and my people without a sermon on Sunday. Only let me be sure that I was in the right way, and I was willing to run. So says the Christian, “Only let me be sure that I am on my way to heaven, and there is nothing that I am not willing to do or to bear.” Well, if you are so earnest, know that Christ is the Way; and if you are desirous to cast away all that shall hinder your race, I think that you need not doubt that you are already in it. (H. W. Beecher.)

    Christ the only way

    Mrs. Bennet, wife of John Bennet, minister of an Independent Church in Cheshire, the day before she died, raised herself into a very solemn attitude, and with most striking emphasis, delivered, in the following language her dying testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus: “I here declare it before you that I have looked on the right hand and on the left--I have cast my eyes before and behind--to see if there was any possible way of salvation but by the Son of God; and I am fully satisfied there is not. No! none on earth, nor all the angels in heaven, could have wrought out salvation for such a sinner. None but God Himself, taking our nature upon Him, and doing all that the holy law required, could have procured pardon for me, a sinner. He has wrought out salvation for me, and I know that I shall enjoy it forever.”

    The way to our wishes

    Thomas was the spokesman of the disciples for the moment. The Saviour speaks to them and to us as if we were anxious to get a glimpse of a particular person, and to go to a particular place. Are not these longings strong and deep in the heart of humanity? Is not science itself in search of the Father? Is it not trying by every means in its power to get up to the Great First Cause? And does not superstition unite its sighs with those of science? When it makes its idol and falls down before it, is it not trying to bring God within the bounds of visibility? And is not Pantheism in pursuit of the same object? God everything, and everything God. Deeper still is the desire in the heart of the Church. Now Christ says, “I am the Way.” Would it not be wonderful if it were otherwise, if there were no way? We see on all sides provision made for the wants of our nature, for the gratification of the wishes of our hearts. Are we to believe that the desires which we have for the highest and noblest and holiest of all things are to be made exceptions to the rule?

    I. CHRIST IS THE WAY BY WHICH THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE, THE FATHER OF ALL, HAS BEEN BROUGHT WITHIN THE RANGE OF HUMAN VISION IN A REAL PERSONAL FORM. His attributes are evident from His works. Holy men of old were permitted to hear His voice sometimes, and to behold symbols of His presence. But the Lord Jesus made the eternal God visible to the eye of man in human form--“In Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” And that was the only way in which He could be manifested personally to the eye of flesh. Mortal man could not go up to God where He is. The only alternative was, that God should come down in the fashion of a man. In no other nature could He convey a complete conception of His character to the mind.

    II. CHRIST IS THE WAY BY WHICH MAN GETS UP TO GOD, AND DWELLS WITH HIM AT LAST IN HIS HOUSE. When we were bearing our own sins, we dreaded Him; when He is placed before us bearing our sins, we are attracted to Him, and take hold of Him with our whole heart, as His heart took hold of us when we were perishing. When we are drawn to Him we partake of His nature as really as He partook of ours. His Spirit flows into us, and all that is good is quickened and strengthened in us, so that an affinity is established between us and Him, just as an affinity had been previously established between Him and us. “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.” His people “seek the things which are above,” etc. “Our citizenship is in heaven.” When the souls of His people are loosed from their bodies at death they go up to Him. And the bodies of believers, as well as their spirits, will be drawn up to Him at last. “And so we shall be ever with the Lord.” (W. Simpson.)

    The way to the Father

    We hear much of the Fatherhood of God, and cannot hear too much if the doctrine be truly stated. It is not a new doctrine. The heathen knew something of it; it is in the Old Testament, while it is the very substance of the New. Only in the latter, what heathenism never knew, and what the Law and the Prophets only taught imperfectly, God is our Father in the Eternal Son. This distinctly Christian doctrine is declared in our text

    I. POLEMICALLY. It protests against certain religious teachings which contravene it. Throughout His ministry Christ was in conflict with men who held a false doctrine of the Fatherhood of God.

    1. There were those who represented God as though He looked on His human offspring with a complacency which winked at all moral distinctions. The Supreme Father looked upon all with equal indifference. In opposition to this Christ taught that man was estranged from God through sin. He had lost the knowledge of God and was spiritually dark; the favour of God and was guilty; the image of God and was corrupt; the life of God and was dead in trespasses and sins; and that men could only secure the prerogatives of sonship by intervention from without. There are those today who teach the old doctrines of a philosophical Sadduceeism. Christianity challenges them. Appealing to Christ’s credentials as a Teacher sent from God, it proclaims to the world that God hath given unto us eternal life, and that this life is by a Mediator whom He hath ordained. There is no absurdity in the doctrine. Who but God can determine how we may most fitly come to Him? And as the Mediatorship is actually constituted, what lessons touching Divine love and holiness, and human helplessness and dignity, does it not pour into our ears.

    2. But Christ’s ministry did battle even more keenly with those who held that God was their Father through mediatorship. Angels, Abraham, Moses, saintly pedigree, holy observances, etc., were their mouthpieces with God, and stepping stones to immortality. Christ told them they carried a lie in their right hand; that there was but one Mediator--Himself. Alas! we have the doctrine of the Pharisees too. Men are heard proclaiming that the prayer of a disembodied saint, the magic of a Christian rite, etc., have the stupendous power to join heaven and earth together. The New Testament pronounces all this to be falsehood. Our alms, deeds, lastings, communions, baptisms, etc.

    these bridge the gulf between us and God I

    What does a man think of himself, what does he think of God, who takes up with such a hypothesis?

    II. DOCTRINALLY. Taken with its context, the text is the summary and index of a most large and precious Scripture teaching. How do men come to the Father through Christ? Necessarily the Person, character, and history of the Mediator will have much to do with the nature and method of His mediation. Who the Mediator was let John tell us (chap. 1), and His character and history let him and his brethren tell. With these facts in view men have held that the value of Christ’s mediation consists in the energy of the truth He taught, and the force of His example. Others explain that by His perfect fulfilment of the will of God as our representative, He became so acceptable to God, that by reason of what He did God is now the loving Father of us all, and in Him all men are already virtually, and will be by and by actually justified and glorified. Now both these theories mistake the entire basis, method and scope of Christ’s Mediatorship, which is essentially an economy of holy law, in which God and man sustain not simply the relations of Father and Son, but those of moral Governor and rational and responsible creature. According to Scripture

    1. Christ’s blood has made satisfaction in law to Divine justice for the sins of all mankind, by virtue of which sin is expiated, and all men through personal faith may find mercy and acceptance.

    2. As the recompense of the Redeemer’s passion. God gives to the world by Christ’s hands His Holy Spirit, by whom assurance of pardon is given, and new birth to righteousness.

    3. Under the reign of Christ believers are protected from the evil that is in the world; subjected to providential discipline, and furnished with strength to do the will of God and make their way to everlasting life.

    III. EVANGELICALLY AND PROMISSORY. Men can only come to God by Christ; but by Him there is free access for every soul. To come to the Father is

    1. To know God.

    2. To be the object of the love of God.

    3. To be with God forever.


    1. The words illuminate the widest possible area of religious truth. God is and always has been, whether as Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, the Father of men through a Mediator.

    2. Within a narrower circle, Christ’s doctrine lays down broad lines of duty and privilege for the Church of God. Let no false charity presume to enlarge what God has straitened. It is at the Church’s peril that it dares to cripple man’s evangelical liberty.

    3. The text speaks with a gracious but authoritative voice to every hearer of the gospel.

    Christ the only way to the Father

    Not long ago, two little children rambling from home over a wild and dangerous part of Dartmoor, lost their way. Utterly unable to find the right path, they sat down, and cried bitterly. “And what did you do next?” was the question put to them afterwards. “I said, ‘Our Father,’ answered the boy, “and sister said, ‘Gentle Jesus.’” Then they made another attempt, and discovered a moorland road which led them safely home. Surely the conduct of those little ones, lost on the moor, has a lesson for us. If any of us have wandered from the right way, and lost sight of our Father’s House, and fallen among the dangers of a sinful world, what can we do better than shed tears of sorrowful repentance; what can we do better than cry to Our Father and Gentle Jesus? (H. J. W. Buxton, M. A.)

    Christ the only way of approach to the Father


    1. The nature of this coming to the Father. It is

    2. The importance of thus coming to the Father. Adopting the most general assumption that God is the Governor, and that man is a subject, and that the sanction by which the government of God is vindicated, over the retribution of eternity, then it must follow that nothing can be of importance at all compared to the attainment of a state by which the infliction of the Divine anger may be avoided, and by which the enjoyment of the Divine favour may be secured.

    II. THE WORK OF THE LORD JESUS AFFORDS A METHOD BY WHICH MEN MAY COME UNTO THE FATHER. In the whole of the series of verses, with which the text is connected, our Saviour speaks of Himself as being one who had been introduced for the purpose of accomplishing a work, through the agency of which man might be made possessor of all that is desirable in the state we have endeavoured to describe. Let us notice

    1. The nature of the work which our Lord Jesus has accomplished.

    2. The extent to which this work is intended to be applied. The merit of the work of the Saviour is intrinsically sufficient for the world. The means of access and acceptance with God, under the Levitical dispensation, were restricted to a small nation; but under that dispensation of grace and truth, which came by Jesus Christ, it announced that the party walls were to be broken down, and the distinction of Jew and Gentile known no more; and that whomsoever, of any age, nation, rank, or character, would come unto the Father through the work of the Son, should find in the work of the Son a ready plenitude of Almighty energy and grace. There is no limit to that promise--“He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.”


    1. No other being possesses the characteristics which are possessed by our Lord Jesus, and which are necessary to constitute a sufficient mode of access to the Father. For, what is Christ? He is God, and He is Man. The way to God would be shut if it were not for the humanity of Christ; the way to God would be imperfect if it were not for the Divinity of Christ. Humanity is what gives to the work of the Saviour adaptation; Divinity is what gives to the work of Christ efficacy, plenitude, and power.

    2. The Sacred Writings distinctly and solemnly declare that the work of Christ, as the Medium of access to the Father, stands exclusive and alone. “Neither is there salvation in any other,” etc. “Other foundation can no man lay,” etc. Conclusion:

    1. Have you come to the Father?

    2. Will you come unto the Father? (J. Parsons.)

    Christ the only means of access to the Father

    The passage implies

    I. THAT IT IS A PRIMARY DUTY OF ALL INTELLIGENT BEINGS TO COME TO GOD. God is the Father of all spirits, of all beings, to whom He has given an intelligent nature, on whom He has conferred moral capacities. From that very circumstance it is their first and positive obligation, and will constitute their happiness to come to Him, i.e., to have constant intercourse with Him. There is something solemn and impressive about it. To come into contact with the eternal and infinite mind! We feel strongly when we have a prospect of coming into contact with some eminent person. But everything falls short of the idea of coming into the presence of God. And then to have a proper idea of our responsibility, and our being constantly under His eye--and yet it is our primary duty to delight in this, and to do it.

    II. THAT THERE IS A VERY REMARKABLE SINGULARITY ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH MAN IS TO COME TO GOD. “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” Anything like that was never uttered in heaven. It never was uttered, and never will be, in any world in which the beings continue to be just as they proceeded from the hands of God. They delight in constant intercourse with God. Why is this? Worlds that have never fallen are in a state of natural religion. With respect to us who have fallen, if we come to God we must come in a particular manner. And the singularity of this arises from our guilt. God is to be viewed by us not merely as God, but as a God whom we have offended. And, therefore, there is some process required to mark our circumstances, both upon God’s part and upon ours. And the peculiarity of the thing as revealed in Scripture is, that we are to come to God, through a Mediator, and to plead the work and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to ask the forgiveness of sin, in the consideration of that reason. Now all just wows of religion rest upon this foundation. The Deist rejects revelation and a mediator altogether, because he looks abroad on the face of the world, and he thinks that nothing more is necessary to come to God but some prayer and some expression of penitence. Then, again, some men reject the idea of the Divinity and sacrifice of Christ, and think it is enough to come to God, as professing to receive the truth of Christ. These views result from very inadequate impressions of the holiness and majesty of God and of the nature of sin, and of that kind of medium which is represented in the New Testament as the way into the presence of the holiest of all.

    III. THAT IN COMING TO GOD IT BECOMES US TO HAVE RESPECT TO THE MEDIATOR, AND TO COME ON THE SPECIFIC BUSINESS FOR WHICH HE IS APPOINTED. Only imagine that one of your children, or several of them, had deeply and grievously offended you. Or imagine the case of a monarch, against whom a certain portion of his subjects had rebelled. Imagine, in either of these cases, that some kind and gracious and affectionate declaration of readiness to forgive on certain conditions and in a certain way. And just imagine that either the child, or the subject should dare to come into the presence of the parent or of the sovereign, unconcerned about the matter wherein they had offended. Imagine that your child, without adverting to the circumstances of his actual offence, and of your displeasure, and to the plan which you had designed by which reconciliation might be effected between you--that your child came and praised the properties of your character, and rejoiced in the genuine affections of your nature, and the principles of your behaviour, and praising your heart, or your hands, or your head. Or conceive of the subjects entering the presence chamber of their monarch, and that without adverting to the proclamation that had been made, they should come and unite together in some manifestation of their feelings with regard to his government and his reign, and the happiness of his subjects; never once referring to the business on which they were supposed to come. Would there not be something monstrous in all this? And do you not perceive that the child would increase his offence, and that the subjects would add something like ingratitude and contempt to their rebellion? There are many who just treat God in this way.

    IV. THAT IN COMING IN THE WAY THAT HAS BEEN POINTED OUT WE HAVE EVERY ENCOURAGEMENT AND WE SHALL FIND IT TO BE SUFFICIENT. We shall have a welcome, and shall surely receive whatever is requisite to ensure for us happiness and satisfaction. “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” But “whoever cometh I will in no wise cast out.” And the reason why you do not enjoy all this is, because you will not.

    V. THAT THOSE WHO COME TO GOD BY THE MEDIATOR, AND THEY ONLY, ARE PREPARED FOR DWELLING WITH GOD HEREAFTER. It is not enough to die, and be happy, as some people seem to imagine; you may die and be damned--the Bible says so.


    1. There are many men who never come to God at all. They never come in any way; they never think of it.

    2. There are others who come to God, professedly, but in the wrong way. They do not come to the Father by the Son.

    3. There are others who neglect the spirit of this declaration. They profess to come in the right way; but the particular exercises, and the positive enjoyments of religion, are to them an end of itself. (T. Binney.)


    The Truth

    Christ is the Truth

    I. IN THE HIGHEST SENSE of that word. Some by the word mean literal accuracy of speech, some a restricted class of theological truths; others some philosophical theories. We use the word to denote the whole sum of Christianity as revealed in the person, teaching, and life, of Jesus; the final test and appeal to which all religious and moral truth must be referred; eclipsing all by its glory, overtopping all by its majesty, swaying all by its authority, and determining all by its decision.

    II. THE SAVING TRUTH. A few simple facts and doctrines constitute the main features of our religion. They exhibit the Divine law broken by man’s transgression. They proclaim the eternal justice condemning man. Man is guilty, and therefore condemned; depraved, therefore impotent; hopeless, therefore wretched. This, then, is the mystery of godliness: the Christ, who is the sinless one, became the representative and the surety of the sinful, obeyed the law we had broken, endured the penalty we had deserved, is gone to heaven to shed down on our hearts the influence which alone can renew and sanctify. By faith we are united to Him. Thus we are cleansed from our transgression, justified from all condemnation, made partakers of the Saviour’s Spirit, destined to the Saviour’s glory.

    III. INCOMPARABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL TRUTH. No error can be harmless; every truth must have its use; yet it is equally evident that all truth is not of the same importance; but this is the central, all-pervading truth. If we diverge here, we can only go further and further astray. It is in spiritual science what the law of gravitation is in physical science. Other truth will affect your intelligence, your conscience, your luxuries, your civilization your personal freedom; but this affects your soul, your conscience, your character, your eternity.

    IV. TO CONTRADICT AND REFUTE THE WORLD’S FALSEHOOD. The first temptation was a lie; and ever after that time men were deceived. Thus it came to pass that history, with a slight substratum of fact, became little else than a tissue of fables; philosophy, notwithstanding its high pretensions, became for the most part a mere logomachy or imposing sophism; poetry was employed to dazzle the imagination, to blind the understanding, to decorate the vices; while religion, which, above all things, ought to be the unadulterated truth, became the most complicated and abandoned lie; till Christ stood in the deluded world, and confronted all its delusions, and said, “I am the Truth.” But since then even the gospel has been perverted. We have need incessantly, therefore, to refer to the first principle; to correct everything by this, “I am the Truth.”

    V. NOTWITHSTANDING THE INDIFFERENCE THAT MEN GENERALLY MANIFEST IN RELATION TO IT. I know of nothing which men are so reluctant to honour. If, indeed, you will lower its tone and destroy its vitality; if you will represent it as a philosophy amenable at the bar of man, and class it as a speculation with all other speculations it will be tolerated.

    VI. NOTWITHSTANDING THE WORLD’S HOSTILITY. Thus hostility has put the seal to the declaration. Had it not been mighty, it would never have awakened that hostility; had it not been right-hearted, it would never have dared it; had it not been immortal, it would never have survived it; but having awakened, dared, and survived it, in the person of Christ, and in His truth we see it, as if it came direct from heaven, bearing this testimony before all unequivocally and unshakingly, “I am the Truth.”

    VII. AS THE POWER ULTIMATELY TO SUBDUE THE WORLD. “Great is the truth, and shall prevail.” The thoughtful of all parties assent to that; the mistake is that men should so hastily conclude that the truth is with them. Even they who are engaged in the worst of enterprises wish to have the truth on their side, and labour to have it appear that it is so. And why? Because truth is of God; the man who knowingly goes against it feels he is struggling with Omnipotence. When men see error with their eyes open the spirit shrinks away from it. And if Christ’s doctrine be not true it must perish; all the learning, and power, and skill, and genius, of the universe cannot save it from the perdition it deserves; but Christ cannot be defeated so long as this text is true. Christ’s people cannot be defeated so long as they can say, “We are in Him that is true.” Living in Him; the Church is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Remember

    1. That though this truth is set before you, it will never be yours but in the exercise of deep humility.

    2. That fully to enter into this truth you must possess the spirit of Him from whom it comes.

    3. That this truth is Divine in its origin, and intends to be saving in its result.

    4. Take it with you as at once your defence and your law. (J. Aldis.)

    Jesus, the Truth

    It is a truth in arithmetic that two and two make four. It is a truth in geometry that “the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line.” Certain facts are truths of history. And what we are taught about God or heaven are truths in religion. But Jesus has so much to do with our religion, that we sometimes put His name in place of the word religion, and say of a certain doctrine that it is a truth in Jesus. And this is what Jesus means when He says: “I am the Truth.” The truth in Jesus is the best of all truth, because it

    I. SANCTIFIES OR MAKES US GOOD. The model of goodness is the example of Jesus. There is node like Him in heaven, in the earth, in any other world. He is “the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely.” And that which helps to make us like Jesus is the very best thing in the world for us. It is the truth the Bible teaches us about Jesus, which makes us Christians in the beginning. And then it is only by knowing more of this truth that we “grow in grace,” or become better Christians.

    II. SATISFIES AND MAKES US HAPPY. When you are hungry you have a very disagreeable feeling, and nothing will take it away and make us feel comfortable, but substantial food. But the hunger of the soul is harder to bear than the hunger of the body. Suppose you go to a person, whose soul is in trouble on account of some great sorrow or sin, and try to comfort him by telling him one of the truths in arithmetic or geography. You say to him: “Don’t be troubled; two and two make four; or the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.” Do you think that would satisfy him, or do him any good? None whatever. But suppose that, instead of this, you tell him, and he believes, about “the truth as it is in Jesus.” This is the food that this hungry soul craves. The Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Charles I, lies buried in Newport Church, in the Isle of Wight. A marble monument erected by Queen Victoria shows, in a very touching way, what her feelings were about the matter of which we are now speaking, at the time of death. During the time of her father’s troubles, she was a prisoner in Carisbrook Castle. She was alone, separated from all the friends and companions of her youth, and lingered on in her sorrows, till death came and set her free. She was found one day dead in her bed, with her Bible open before her, and her finger resting on these words: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” And this is what the monument in Newport is intended to show. What a sermon in stone that monument preaches! To everyone who looks at it, it seems to say: “Riches and rank cannot make you happy. Jesus only can satisfy the soul.”

    III. SAVES US. But this is what no other kind of knowledge will or can do. You may know all about arithmetic, geography, history, etc., and this knowledge may be very useful to you in the business of this life, but it will not be of the least use to you in trying to get to heaven. If some poor soul, distressed about his sins, should come to you and ask the question: “What must I do to be saved?” you would find nothing in all those studies that would be the least help to you in answering that question. But, if you only know what the Bible teaches about Jesus, you will be able to answer this question in a moment. It is the truth in Jesus alone which shows us the way to heaven. Some years since, a respectable-looking person said to two collectors for the Bible Society, “I belonged to a company of pickpockets. About a year since, two of my companions and myself were passing by a church. It was the anniversary of the Bible Society. Seeing so many there, we thought it would be a good chance for us to carry on our wicked business. The Ten Commandments, in large gilt letters, were on the wall behind the pulpit. The first words that caught my eye were: ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ In a moment, my attention was arrested. I felt as if God were speaking to me. My conscience troubled me, and my tears began to flow. As soon as the meeting was over, I hurried away to a distant part of the city, where no one knew me. I got a Bible, and began to read it. It showed me what a great sinner I was; but it showed me also what a great Saviour Jesus is. I prayed to Jesus with all my heart. He heard my prayer. Please accept five guineas, and may God bless you in the good work you are doing.” The late Dr. Corrie, bishop of Madras, in India, was a chaplain there for some time before he was made bishop. At that time, no translation of the Bible had been made into the language of that country. To help in scattering a little light, he was in the habit of translating striking passages of Scripture on little scraps of paper, and having his servant distribute them at his door every morning. Twenty years afterwards a missionary at Allahabad wrote to him: “I have lately visited a Hindoo, who came to this place in ill health. I was surprised to find that he was not only a Christian, but a Christian with a very clear knowledge of Jesus, and of the way in which he saves the souls of His people. ‘How is it, my friend,’ I said to him, ‘that you understand so much about the Scriptures? You told me you never saw a missionary in your life, and never had anyone to speak to you about the way of salvation?’ He answered this question by putting his hand under his pillow, and drawing out a parcel of well-worn ragged bits of paper, and saying: ‘From these bits of paper, which Sahib Corrie used to distribute by a servant at his door every day, I have learned all I know about the religion of Jesus. I have read them till, as you see, they are almost worn out. All I know about Jesus they have taught me; but what I do know of Him is worth more than all the world to me. It has saved my soul.’” (R. Newton, D. D.)

    Christ, “the Truth”

    We do not wonder to find “Truth” made the centre bit of the arch. For “truth,” wherever it is, holds everything together. It is the integrity of a man which gathers up the man, and gives a unity to his character. Take away truthfulness, and all his virtues, if he have any, fall to the ground. In like manner, “the Truth” of Christ is the cardinal point of all the strength of Scripture. Therefore, Christ placed it in the middle. For the same reason, in the figurative dress, both of Christ (Isaiah 11:1-16), and of the Christian (Ephesians 6:1-24), “Truth” is the girdle--that which binds up and knits the power of the man. Consider


    1. As Witness. In this character, He came from heaven to reveal and testify to men the invisible things of another world. But what is a witness without truth?

    2. As the Substance of that of which the whole of the Old Testament was the shadow. But the substance of anything is “the truth” of anything. Therefore Christ is “Truth.”

    3. As the Founder of a faith very different from all others which ever appeared upon this earth, Its precepts are the strictest--its doctrines are the loftiest--its consolations are the strongest. Now what intense veracity did all that require in Him who propounded such a thing! If one iota or any word of His should ever fail, what would become of the whole gospel, of which He was the Author?

    4. As His people’s Righteousness. Truth had died out of the earth, when Christ came to re-make “truth,” to be “Truth.” But what must be the “truth” of Him who was to be “the Truth” of all the whole world?

    5. As Judge.


    1. He is nature’s “truth.” The earliest record that we have of Him is, that He was that “Wisdom” which dwelt with God when He made the worlds--that Word by which all things were made. Therefore, all things whichare now in the world were first ideas in the mind of Christ. And there they lay, until His willing it gave those ideas their form, and they took the material substances with which we are conversant. That is the only idea we can form of creation.

    2. He is “the Truth” of God. God is a Being of perfect love. And yet, God has announced, that “every soul that sins shall perish.” Can you reconcile it? And yet, if two attributes of God cannot be reconciled, where is God’s “truth?” In Christ the justice is satisfied that the love may be free.

    3. He is man’s “Truth.” There are three empires of “truth.”

    Christ, “the Truth”

    Christ is the Truth, because He came to

    I. REVEAL TRUTH, and, but for Christ’s revelation of it, we should be utterly ignorant of it. He is Himself the substance of all revealed truth.

    1. Christ came to teach us about God. And how? “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” What could we have known of God, of His mercy, His faithfulness, His truth, His justice, but for the revelation of them that is made in Christ?

    2. Christ is Truth substantially in relation to the types and shadows of the Old Testament. These all pointed to Him. Under the New Testament we are referred for all truth to Jesus Christ, let who will be the teacher. “Every man that hath learned of the Father cometh unto Me.” The office of the Holy Spirit is to take of the things of Christ, and show them unto us. And why is this? Because “it hath pleased the Father that in Him should be hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

    II. CONFIRM THE TRUTH. Christ came

    1. “To confirm the promises made unto the fathers, that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercies.” God graciously sustained the faith of the Old Testament saints by a succession of prophecies, and the truth of them was confirmed by the life, and death, and resurrection of Christ.

    2. To confirm the threatenings. He had said in Eden that He would punish the breach of His law, at the same time that He promised to spare the offender. Christ confirmed this truth, for in Him we see how the threatenings of the law and the promises of the gospel harmonize.

    3. In confirming the Word of God, Christ shows how impossible it is for God to lie. However great the difficulty may be in fulfilling a promise in our estimation, it is impossible for God to lie; and while the infallibility of God’s promises should afford strong consolation to all that trust them, it should be a terror to them that will not obey; for the threatenings will as infallibly he fulfilled as the promises.

    III. ESTABLISH THE TRUTH, and to set up a kingdom in which truth reigns, and the subjects of which have truth in their inward parts. Now, in establishing truth in a man’s heart, Christ not only sets up the principle of obedience to the Word of God, but He establishes that principle by the power of His own life. It is not so much that they live, as Christ that liveth in them. Whatever knowledge men may have of the truth, if it do not lead to the establishing of Christ’s kingdom in their hearts, it is lifeless, unprofitable, condemning knowledge.


    1. He converts men by the convincing evidence of truth. Christ does not deal with us as machines, but as reasonable beings. He brings truth to bear on our understanding, reason, and judgment; and He makes men exercise them upon the truth. Thus the full responsibility of man is maintained, while the power of God comes in all its sovereign force upon their hearts and consciences. For this purpose He sends forth the Spirit; who makes men feel that they are sinners, and then He leads them to desire the salvation of Him who is the Truth. And the same Holy Spirit who reproves of sin also goes on to display the perfect righteousness of Christ, in which the sinner is accepted.

    2. He rules in a converted heart by the commanding power of the truth. This power extends to all parts of God’s holy Word. His right to command is as extensive in one thing as another; His least command is as important as His greatest. (J. W. Reeve, M. A.)

    The Life

    Jesus, the Life

    He is

    I. THE GIVER OF LIFE. We cannot go anywhere without finding living things. Heaven is full of life; for the angels live there. This world is full of life; for, wherever we go, we find people living. And, when we go outside of the homes, in the fields, on the hills, in the ponds, and rivers, and seas, far down to its lowest depths, something or other is found living. And the air is full of life. And it is Jesus who gives life to all these things (Acts 3:15). But it is particularly because He gives life to souls dead in sins, and makes it possible for them to live forever, that Jesus is called “the Life.” “I say, Charlie,” said Willie to his brother, “isn’t it nice to be alive! Why, only see how I can toss my arms about, and use my legs, and feet, and hands. And, then, I can see, and hear, and feel. It’s real nice to be alive, especially when you are all alive and have no part of you dead.” “No part of you dead!” said Willie. “Who ever heard of such a thing as being part alive and part dead?” “I have, Willie. It was myself. The best part of me was quite dead; and what made it still worse was that I didn’t know it.” “But what part of you was dead, Charlie?” “My soul was dead towards God. When God spoke to me, I didn’t hear His voice; when He called me to look to Him, I couldn’t see Him; and when He told me to love Him, I didn’t do it.” “Well, how did it ever come alive?” “Well, Willie, it was Jesus who did it all for me. He sent His blessed Spirit into my heart, to show me that my soul was dead; and that I never could be happy, and never go to heaven unless my soul was made alive. Then I prayed to Him, and He heard me, and ever since He has made me feel so happy!”

    II. THE SUPPORTER OF LIFE. We have no power to make ourselves alive, and when life is given we have no power to keep or preserve it, and therefore we need such a one as Jesus. Nothing could continue to live, if it were left entirely to itself. Some things, when they begin to live, need a great deal more care and support than others. Look, for instance, at a babe that is just born, and a chicken that is just hatched. How very different they are in the care they require! But there is nothing that requires more care than our souls, after Jesus has made them alive. We are in a position of great danger. If left to ourselves, we must perish. If we have a servant working for us, we can show him the work we want him to do; but we cannot give him the strength to do it. Jesus can do both. He is like a great mountain that can support everything that rests upon it, whether an army or a fly. And He is like the ocean, too. When men launch their huge iron steamers, by scores and by hundreds, the ocean supports them as easily as though they were light as a piece of cork. And so Jesus can support all His people.

    III. THE EXAMPLE OF LIFE (1 Peter 2:21). When Jesus makes our souls alive, then the one thing we have to do is to try to be like Jesus. A little girl went to a writing school. When she saw the copy set before her, she said; “I can never write like that.” But she took up her pen, and put it timidly on the paper. “I can but try,” she said. “I’ll do the best I can.” She wrote half a page. The letters were crooked. She feared to have the teacher look at her book. But when the teacher came, he looked and smiled. “I see you are trying, my little girl,” he said kindly, “and that is all I expect.” She took courage. Again and again she studied the beautiful copy. She wrote very carefully, but the letters straggled here, were crowded there, and some of them seemed to look every way. She trembled when she heard the step of the teacher. “I’m afraid you’ll find fault with me,” she said. “I do not find fault with you,” said the teacher, “because you are only a beginner. Keep on trying. In this way, you will do better every day, and soon get to be a very good writer.” And this is the way we are to try to be like Jesus. But when we read about Jesus and learn how holy, and good, and perfect He was, we must not be discouraged if we do not become like Him at once. But, if we keep on trying, and ask God to help us, we shall “learn of Him to be meek and lowly in heart;” and we shall become daily more and more like Him.

    IV. THE REWARDER OF LIFE. Those who love Jesus are the happiest in this world, and will be the only happy people in the world to come. (R. Newton, D. D.)

    Christ, our Life

    Life includes

    1. Appropriate activity.

    2. Happiness. The life here intended is not natural and intellectual, but spiritual and eternal. Christ is the Life, as He is


    1. He saves us from death

    2. He gives inward spiritual life, because


    1. The exercises in which the Spiritual life consists terminate in Him.

    2. The happiness involved consists in fellowship with Him. He is our life, as He is our joy, our portion, our everlasting inheritance.

    III. ITS END. It is Christ for us to live. While others live for themselves, their country, mankind, the believer lives for Christ. It is the great design of His life to promote Christ’s glory, and to advance His kingdom. Inferences

    1. Test of character. The difference between the true and the nominal Christian lies here. The one seeks and regards Christ as his life only, as He delivers from death; the other as the object of his life.

    2. The true way to grow in grace, and in vigorous spiritual life, is to get more of Christ.

    3. The happiness and duty of thus making Christ our life. (C. Hodge, D. D.)

    Christ, the Life

    A well-known modern scientist has hazarded the speculation that the origin of life on this planet has been the falling upon it of the fragment of a meteor or an aerolite, from some other system, with a speck of organic life upon it, from which all has developed. Whatever may be the case in regard to the physical life, that is absolutely true in the case of spiritual life. It all comes because this heaven-descended Christ has come down the long staircase of Incarnation, and has brought with Him into the clouds and oppressions of our terrestrial atmosphere a germ of life which He has planted in the heart of the race, there to spread forever. (Homiletic Monthly.)

    Christ, the Christian’s life

    I. LIFE IN CHRIST. As the life of the mother is imparted to the child, so Christ’s life is imparted to the Christian. Baptism symbolizes our being born in Christ, and the Lord’s Supper symbolizes our being fed by Him. Both exhibit a common life between the believer and Christ. In this lies the security of the Christian. If you saw a rill running down a mountain side, you might wonder if that stream would not soon cease to run; but if you found out that a fountain fed it, then you could readily believe that it would keep on running, and that, whatever obstacles might cross its course, it would go on and on toward the ocean. Christ is the eternal fountain--the life of the soul (Romans 8:38-39).

    II. LIFE ON CHRIST Some plants grow on that on which they lean. So the life of Christ is to the Christian a support and a supply. This life is given to us through

    1. The Word. The words of the Bible are life. Christ is in them. There is not a word here in which, if you go down deep enough, you will not find Christ, as there is not a spot of ground where, if you go down deep enough, you cannot find water.

    2. The Sacraments. We do not value these as highly as we ought. In the sixth chapter we read that if we partake of Christ we shall live. This, of course, is but the outward expression of the infinite truth. There is an inward oneness with Christ revealed in the sacraments. We can never understand this union unless we have experienced it.

    III. LIFE FOR CHRIST. No one can realize Christ’s worth to his soul until He works for Him, until he consecrates his life to Him. In consecration Christ is revealed.

    IV. LIFE WITH CHRIST. The entire life of the Saviour, from Bethlehem to Calvary, is, I may say, an allegory, a mould in which the Christian’s life is cast. Christ was born: the Christian is born in Him, etc. We have no trial that Christ did not experience. We can roll all our burdens on Christ, who is by our side. (J. A. M. Chapman.)

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 14:6". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Another of the great "I am's" of John, this is one of the profoundest teachings ever uttered. It presents Jesus as the unique means of access to God. Buttrick devoted most of an entire book to the mountain truth of this text, presenting Jesus Christ as the sole answer to the human problems of sin, ignorance, and mortality. As the way, Jesus is the answer to man's sin; as the truth, he is the answer to man's ignorance; and as the life, he is the answer to man's mortality.[4]

    Man is constitutionally ignorant, endemically wicked, and irrevocably mortal ... There is no book logic to refute or uphold these contentions, only the logic of life ... Man is not delivered from his lower life by his own power but remains helpless without the Great Companion.[5]


    Jesus is the way. Apart from him there is no solution of the problem of sin. Part of the problem is the universal tendency to deny that sin exists. Every crime, however vicious, is rationalized. The major thesis of humanism is that there is really nothing much wrong with man as he already is. True, certain restrictions are admitted; but men fancy that if they can only shake off the chains that bind them they will be all right. Strike off their political chains, their economic chains, their psychological inhibitions, etc., and presto! the new age will appear. All such human air-castles fall in one awful consideration, that of the universal wickedness of mankind. Every utopian ship of all history has split open and sunk upon the submerged reef of unregenerated human nature. In trying to find out how to live, men try to evaluate and compare various concepts and systems, and by deduction hope to find what is best; but the universal experience of humanity has demonstrated that whatever of the good, the pure and the beautiful that men have discovered - all of it derived from him who is the way. The sin problem is solved only in Christ. He alone reveals man's sin, ransoms him from the tyranny of it, removes him from the practice of it, remits it, and even overrules it for his benefit - provided only and always that the sinner must yield himself to the Lord and walk in his way; for he is the way.

    Jesus is the truth. In this, our Lord is the answer to man's ignorance; but, in this sector also, man professes no need, pretending to be wise. In the dictionary that he wrote himself, is he not listed as "homo sapiens"? Look at the letters he has written after and before his name: Ph.D., M.D., Hon., Pres., etc., etc.; but, if man can bear to hear it, he would be just as accurately listed as "homo ignoramus"! Human wisdom is foolishness with God (1 Corinthians 1:20); and only a little reflection will reveal that God is right. Apart from God, man is ignorant of his origin, destiny, and the meaning of life. He cannot see one split-second into the future, but builds a house the day before an earthquake, elects scoundrels to public office, and in all social and political considerations moves with the intelligence (!) of a buffalo herd on stampede. Even in the areas of his greatest achievements, man is embarrassed by the fact that every truth he has ever discovered only raised a hundred other questions harder than the one he solved. The discovery of the power of the atom is only the most recent example of this. He cannot know what caused time, space, or matter, and does not have the slightest idea of the extent or duration of such things. He is an infant crying in the night with no language but a cry, until he shall turn to him who is the truth.

    Man's vaunted knowledge has only multiplied his ignorance. He surveys from his tiny ant hill the morning star and the band of Orion; he cries for light, wisdom, and knowledge; but, as he pursues this will-o'-the-wisp, he is mocked by his own ignorance. The silent stars go by, and the whirling suns brush him into the grave. But in Christ who is the truth, all that is changed. He is the answer to man's ignorance. In Jesus, the soul is secure in the fact that ultimate truth is not another gadget, or a new formula, but a person, God in Christ, man's friend from above, who is at once the Cause and the explanation of all things.

    Jesus is the Life. In this, he is the answer to man's mortality. Death is an ugly problem for man, but how does he face up to it? He will not even speak of it. Even when the last agony is upon him, his physician will hardly tell him the truth; his wife assures him that he is better; and even his minister speaks of what he will do when he gets well. What a tragic blindness it is that forces the great, the intelligent, the prominent and powerful on earth to go on living as if death had no claim upon them. The greatest falsehood of the age is the allegation that Christianity is a psychological escape hatch for defeated and frustrated souls. In Christ only do men face up to the fact of death and go down to the grave shouting, "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57).

    All of man's efforts to negate the problem of mortality are pathetic. With what fanfare and enthusiasm he greets every new medicine or surgical skill; but has he abolished death? Here and there he might indeed have plucked a feather from the wings of the angel of death; but the shadow of those wings still darkens every threshold. Only in Christ does the redeemed soul march onward in the security of him who is the resurrection and the life. Jesus broke up every funeral he ever attended, promised to raise from the dead all who ever lived, and taught his disciples not to fear them that may kill the body. His is the glorious religion that teaches men how to live with all the facts of life and of death. His is the only name that means anything when spoken over the cold form of the dead. This is the sublime truth that has sent his church shouting down two thousand years, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    [4] George A. Buttrick, Christ and Man's Dilemma (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1945), p. 29.

    [5] Ibid.

    Copyright Statement
    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way,.... Our Lord takes the opportunity of this discourse about the place he was going to, and the way unto it, more fully to instruct his disciples concerning himself, saying, "I am the way"; Christ is not merely the way, as he goes before his people as an example; or merely as a prophet, pointing out unto them by his doctrine the way of salvation; but he is the way of salvation itself by his obedience and sacrifice; nor is there any other; he is the way of his Father's appointing, and which is entirely agreeable to the perfections of God, and suitable to the case and condition of sinners; he is the way to all the blessings of the covenant of grace; and he is the right way into a Gospel church state here; no one comes rightly into a church of Christ but by faith in him; and he is the way to heaven: he is entered into it himself by his own blood, and has opened the way to it through himself for his people: he adds,

    the truth he is not only true, but truth itself: this may regard his person and character; he is the true God, and eternal life; truly and really man; as a prophet he taught the way of God in truth; as a priest, he is a faithful, as well as a merciful one, true and faithful to him that appointed him; and as a King, just and true are all his ways and administrations: he is the sum and substance of all the truths of the Gospel; they are all full of him, and centre in him; and he is the truth of all the types and shadows, promises and prophecies of the Old Testament; they have all their accomplishment in him; and he is the true way, in opposition to all false ones of man's devising. And this phrase seems to be opposed to a notion of the Jews, that the law was the true way of life, and who confined truth to the law. They have a sayingF18T. Bab. Bava Bathra. fol. 74. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 223. 2. , that משה ותורתו אמת, "Moses and his law are the truth"; this they make Korah and his company say in hell. That the law of Moses was truth, is certain; but it is too strong an expression to say of Moses himself, that he was truth; but well agrees with Christ, by whom grace and truth came in opposition to Moses, by whom came the law: but when they sayF19Hieros. Roshhashanah, fol. 59. 1. Praefat. Echa Rabbati, fol. 36. 2. , אין אמת אלא תורה, "there is no truth but the law", they do not speak truth. More truly do they speak, when, in answer to that question, מה אמת, "what is truth?" it is said, that he is the living God, and King of the worldF20Ib. Sanhedrin, fol. 18. 1. , characters that well agree with Christ.

    And the life: Christ is the author and giver of life, natural, spiritual, and eternal; or he is the way of life, or "the living way"; in opposition to the law, which was so far from being the way of life, that it was the ministration of condemnation and death: he always, and ever will be the way; all in this way live, none ever die; and it is a way that leads to eternal life: and to conclude all the epithets in one sentence, Christ is the true way to eternal life It is added by way of explanation of him, as the way,

    no man cometh unto the Father but by me; Christ is the only way of access unto the Father; there is no coming to God as an absolute God, not upon the foot of the covenant of works, nor without a Mediator; and the only Mediator between God and man is Christ: he introduces and presents the persons and services of his people to his Father, and gives them acceptance with him.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    Jesus saith unto him, I am d the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    (d) This saying shows unto us the nature, the will, and office of Christ.
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    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 14:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

    John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

    6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    [I am the way, the truth, and the life.] Why is this superadded of truth and the life, when the question was only about the way?

    I. It may be answered that this was perhaps by a Hebrew idiosyncrasy; by which the way, the truth, and the life, may be the same with the true and living way.

    Jeremiah 29:11: To give you an end and hope, or expectation: that is, a hoped or expected end. So Kimchi in loc.; "A good end even as you expect."

    II. Our Saviour seems to refute that opinion of the Jews concerning their law, as if it were the way, the truth, and the life, and indeed every thing: and to assert his own authority and power of introducing a new rule of religion, because himself is the way, the truth, and the life, in a sense much more proper and more sublime than the law could be said to be.

    It had been happier for the Jew if he could have discerned more judiciously concerning the law; if he could have distinguished between coming to God in the law and coming to God by the law: as also between living in the law and living by the law. It is beyond all doubt, there is no way of coming to God but in his law: for what outlaw, or one that still wanders out of the paths of God's commandments, can come unto him? So also it is impossible that any one should have life but in the law of God. For who is it can have life that doth not walk according to the rule of his laws? But to obtain admission to the favour of God by the law, and to have life by the law; that is, to be justified by the works of the law; this sounds quite another thing: for it is by Christ only that we live and are justified; by him alone that we have access to God.

    These are the fictions of the Rabbins: "There was one shewed a certain Rabbin the place where Corah and his company were swallowed up, and, 'Listen,' saith he, 'what they say.' So they heard them saying, Moses and his law are the truth. Upon the calends of every month hell rolls them about, as flesh rolls in the caldron, hell still saying, Moses and his law are truth."

    It is, indeed, a great truth, what is uttered in this most false and ridiculous legend, that "the law of Moses is truth." But the Jews might (if they would) attain to a much more sound way of judging concerning the truth of it, and consider that the law is not the sum and ultimate of all truth, but that Christ is the very truth of the truth of Moses: John 1:17, "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

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    Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". 1675.

    People's New Testament

    I am the way, the truth, and the life. This is said in reply to Thomas. Without him there would be no Way revealed; no divine and saving truth, no immortal life.

    No man cometh to the Father, but by me. Not only can no one enter the Father's house without him, but no man can come to the Father on earth so as to enjoy his favor. "There is no other name given under heaven among men whereby we must be saved."

    Copyright Statement
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    Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
    Bibliographical Information
    Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 14:6". "People's New Testament". 1891.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    I am the way, and the truth, and the life (Εγω ειμι η οδος και η αλητεια και η ζωηEgō eimi hē hodos kai hē alētheia kai hē zōē). Either of these statements is profound enough to stagger any one, but here all three together overwhelm Thomas. Jesus had called himself “the life” to Martha (John 11:25) and “the door” to the Pharisees (John 10:7) and “the light of the world” (John 8:12). He spoke “the way of God in truth” (Mark 12:14). He is the way to God and the only way (John 14:6), the personification of truth, the centre of life.

    Except by me (ει μη δι εμουei mē di' emou). There is no use for the Christian to wince at these words of Jesus. If he is really the Incarnate Son of God (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 1:18), they are necessarily true.

    Copyright Statement
    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
    Bibliographical Information
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    I am the way

    The disciples are engrossed with the thought of separation from Jesus. To Thomas, ignorance of whither Jesus is going involves ignorance of the way. “Therefore, with loving condescension the figure is taken up, and they are assured that He is Himself, if we may so speak, this distance to be traversed” (Milligan and Moulton). All along the course to the Father's house they are still with Him.

    The truth

    As being the perfect revelation of God the Father: combining in Himself and manifesting all divine reality, whether in the being, the law, or the character of God. He embodies what men ought to know and believe of God; what they should do as children of God, and what they should be.

    The life

    Not only life in the future world. He is “the principle and source of life in its temporal development and future consummation, so that whoever has not received Him into himself by faith, has become a prey to spiritual and eternal death” (Meyer). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Compare Colossians 3:4; John 6:50, John 6:51; John 11:25, John 11:26.

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou shouldst pursue; the truth which thou shouldst believe; the life which thou shouldst hope for” (Thomas a Kempis, “Imitation of Christ,” iii., 56). On ζωή , life, see on John 1:4.

    Unto the Father

    The end of the way.

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    To the question concerning the way, he answers, I am the way. To the question concerning knowledge, he answers, I am the truth. To the question whither, I am the life. The first is treated of in this verse; the second, John 14:7-17; the third, 14:18, etc.

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    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

    The Fourfold Gospel

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me1.

    1. No one cometh unto the Father, but by me. God is not approached by physical motion. Being spirit, we must draw near to him by spiritual simplicity, and this is revealed to us fully in the person of Christ, and an energizing power is imparted by Christ to enable us to attain unto it.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
    Bibliographical Information
    J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 14:6". "The Fourfold Gospel". Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Я есмь путь. Хотя Христос не отвечает на вопрос подробно, Он не упускает ничего полезного для сведения учеников. Надо было обуздать любопытство Фомы. Посему Христос не рассуждает, каким будет Его положение у Отца, но говорит о чем-то более важном. Фома охотно послушал бы о том, что Христос будет делать на небесах, как и мы никогда не устаем от этих утонченных умствований. Однако усердие и силу надо прилагать в другом. А именно: в том, каким образом нам стать участниками в блаженном воскресении. Смысл сего предложения следующий: всякий имеющий Христа ни в чем не будет терпеть недостатка. Посему тот, кто Им не довольствуется, стремится к чему-то большему, чем высшее совершенство. Христос полагает три ступени, говоря, что Он начало, середина и конец. Отсюда следует, что с Него надо начинать, через Него идти, и Им заканчивать. Действительно, не следует просить о премудрости более высокой, чем та, которая ведет нас в вечную жизнь. И Христос свидетельствует, что она как раз обретается в Нем. Основание жизни состоит в том, чтобы мы стали новой тварью. И это, по словам Христа, не следует искать где-либо, кроме как в Нем Одном. Одновременно Он учит, что Он – путь, единственный путь, которым можно достичь данного состояния. Поэтому, дабы мы не терпели недостатка, Христос протягивает руку заблудившимся, и снисходит до того, что готов руководить даже младенцами. Объявив же Себя вождем, Он не оставляет Своих посередине пути, но делает их причастниками истины. В конце концов, Он даст им вкусить ее плод, лучше и превосходнее которого нельзя ничего представить. Поскольку же Христос – путь, немощным и неученым не следует жаловаться на Его отсутствие. Поскольку Христос истина и жизнь, Он имеет в Себе все, что удовлетворит даже совершеннейших.

    Наконец, Христос говорит здесь о блаженстве то же, что я ранее говорил о цели веры. Все правильно считают, что блаженство человека находится в одном лишь Боге, но ошибаются в том, что, ища Бога вне Христа, лишают Его истинной и несомненной божественности. Одни думают, что истина означает здесь спасительную и небесную мудрость, другие – что суть жизни и всех духовных благ, которые противопоставлены теням и образам. Подобно тому, как в первой главе сказано: благодать и истина произошли через Иисуса Христа. Мне же думается, что истина разумеется здесь как совершенство веры, а путь – как ее начатки и первые шаги. Итог таков: если кто отойдет от Христа, то впоследствии будет только заблуждаться. Если кто не успокаивается в Нем, то в другом месте найдет лишь ветер и суету. Если же кто хочет идти дальше, то вместо жизни найдет одну смерть.

    Никто не приходит к Отцу. Истолкование предыдущего предложения. Христос потому является путем, что приводит нас к Отцу, потому является истной и жизнью, что в Нем мы получаем Самого Отца. Это можно сказать и о молитве: никакие прошения не выслушиваются без ходатайства Христова. Но поскольку Христос говорит здесь не о молитве, разумей просто: люди измышляют себе непроходимые лабиринты, когда, оставив Христа, хотят достичь Бога. Христос же доказывает, что Он жизнь. Ведь Богом можно обладать только в Нем, а у Бога находится источник жизни. Посему всякое богословие вне Христа не только глупо и напрасно, но, воистину, безумно, ложно и преступно. Хотя философы иногда говорят красивые слова, у них нет ничего кроме суеты, подверженной глупейшим заблуждениям.




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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


    ‘I am the Life.’

    John 14:6

    ‘I am the Life,’ Jesus said. How is this true of Him?

    I. He is the Pattern Life.—Never was a life of man lived like His life. All are agreed about this. As in the days of His flesh foes as well as friends recognised the perfection of His life, so in all ages since, so in this critical age in which our lot is cast, believers and unbelievers alike are unanimous in the verdict they pass on the life of Jesus. ‘Truly this was a righteous Man.’

    II. He is the Bringer of Life.—He asserts this of Himself: ‘I am come that ye might have life.’

    III. He is Himself the Life.—‘Apart from Me ye can do nothing,’ any more than the branch can live and bear fruit when it is severed from the parent stem.

    We cannot live on doctrines or feelings about Christ, nor depend for life on mere ordinances of religion however carefully observed. The only true life is that which centres round a living, personal Christ, and draws all its strength from Him.

    Bishop C. J. Ridgeway.


    ‘If you can receive it, your “life” is really, at this moment, up in heaven with Christ. He represents it; and He holds it. He is it. Our “life,” down here, is a part of that “life” which Christ “lives,” eternally and essentially, before the throne; and certain secret communications, always passing, make that “life” this “life.” This is a necessary result of that oneness which there is between the member and the Head. It is very unintelligible to a man of the world; he knows nothing about it; but it is a great reality to a Christian. And it is an unspeakable comfort. Every one feels a jealousy and a fear, “Will my ‘new’ feelings last? Will this ‘new’ existence, of which I am beginning to be conscious, will it go on?” The resting place for that doubt is: “Yes—for my ‘life’ is a part of ‘the life’ of a ‘living’ Saviour; Who, ‘in that He died, He died unto sin once; but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.’ That is eternal. ‘My life is hid with Christ in God.’”



    You will find that your inner, your true, your only ‘life,’ will ever flow and prosper, or decline; be dull or bright—live or die—just according to the Christ that is in you.

    You may try other ways, for a time, and you may think that you are succeeding; but, mark me, you will see at last that union and communion with Christ—nearness to Christ—dependence upon Christ—serving Christ—loving Christ—waiting for Christ, is the only security; the only strength; the beginning, middle, and end; the sum and substance of all spiritual ‘life,’ within a man’s heart.

    This is why some fail, and some keep on to the end. It is that some understand, and some do not understand—some have always remembered, and some are always forgetting, what those words mean, ‘I am the life.’

    To see this a little more plainly, let us break up the thought into four—

    I. ‘Life’ in Christ.

    II. ‘Life’ on Christ.

    III. ‘Life’ to Christ.

    IV. ‘Life’ with Christ.

    —Rev. J. Vaughan.



    True life is in God alone; it is given in Jesus Christ; it is given now. Have we this life? We can know the signs of this life, for Jesus is our exemplar, a pattern.

    I. What characteristics of life do we find in the character, walk, and conduct of Jesus? Look at Him in His relationship to the Father.

    Of Himself He could do nothing, teach nothing, speak nothing.

    He did not come of Himself. He lived for His Father’s glory, not His own. He did not do His own will, but His Father’s.

    His life was one of (a) consecration to God; (b) dependence on God; and (c) harmony with God.

    II. These will be characteristics of our life if the Divine life has been imparted to us.

    The Divine life is the same, whether lived by Him or lived by us. God is the centre, not self.

    —Canon J. G. Hoare.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 14:6". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Ver. 6. I am the way, and the truth, &c.] As if he should say, Thou hast no whither to go but to me, nor which way to go but by me, that thou mayest attain eternal life. Which made Bernard say, Sequemur, Domine, te, per te, ad te: Te quia Veritas, per te quia Via, ad te quia Vita. God, we will follow you, through you, to you: because you are the truth, through you because you are the way, to you because you are the life. And this was one of those sweet sayings that old Beza had much in his mouth a little before his death. (Melch. Adam. in Vitis exter.)

    No man cometh unto the Father, but by me] Christ hath paved us a new and living way to God, with his own meritorious blood: and his flesh stands as a screen between us and those everlasting burnings, Isaiah 33:14. Let Papists say of their saints, Per hunc itur ad Deum, sed magis per hunc. Through him is the way to God, but greater through him. Let us say of all their he and she saints, as that heathen, Contemno minutos istos Deos, modo Iovem (Iesum) propitium habeam. I despise such petty gods, but let us have the propious Jesus.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    John 14:6

    Christ the Way

    I. If it be asked where this way begins, and whither it goes, the answer is evident. It begins in the cold, dark, desolate region, into which sin has thrown the moral and material condition of every living man. And it goes along a course of ever-nearing communion with God—through many stages of prayer, and devout thought and humiliation and assimilation to the character of God, up to the many mansions of the Father's house.

    II. There were three difficulties which had to be overcome in the return of a guilty creature to his God. (1) A road must be made clear before the love of God could travel without trespassing on God's justice. (2) The false and alien mind of man must be willing to occupy the road when it was made. (3) The returning man must be fit for the happiness to which he is restored. To remove the first obstacle, Jesus, in His own person, and by His own vile death, harmonised the attributes of God. To do away with the second, the commanding spirit works in His sovereignty, which makes willing in the day of His power. To destroy the third, the mediatorial throne is planted on the way, to shed beauty and glory on everything which passes by it, and which acknowledges its efficacy. But over each barrier, rased to the ground, Christ's banner floats, "I am the Way."

    III. Immediately you are in the way, you find yourself in a state of progress. Marvellously you will feel your thoughts and affections begin to rise. Evidences you cannot mistake will tell you you are in the way. Old things will be dwindling behind you into insignificance in the distance, and new things will be brought to you in the present. You will understand the essential progressiveness of the grace of God, and you will need no human voice to explain to you what that means, "I am the Way."

    J. Vaughan, Sermons, 1868, p. 229.

    Christ the Truth

    I. The truth of Christ was an attribute above all others essential to the offices which He undertook to fulfil. I shall take five of these offices. (1) That of a witness. What is a witness without truth? (2) The substance of that of which the whole of the Old Testament was the shadow. But the substance of anything is the truth of anything. Therefore, Christ is Truth. (3) The founder of a faith very different from all others which ever appeared upon this earth. Its precepts are the strictest—its doctrines are the loftiest—its consolations are the strongest. Now what intense veracity did that require in Him. (4) Christ is His people's truth, His people's righteousness. And what must be the truth of Him who was to be the Truth of the whole world? (5) Christ is Judge. How unspeakably momentous it is that in the last great division of all human destiny, the Judge should be true.

    II. There are three empires of truth—the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual. (1) I doubt whether any mind ever attains the highest order of intellect without an acquaintance with Jesus Christ. For if everything took its rise in the mind of Christ, then the true science of every subject must revert to Christ. (2) Christ is the Sun, the centre of moral Truth. In proportion as nations have departed from Christ, they have wandered out of the orbit of truth. And every man, as he dwells more with Christ, grows in rectitude of conduct and integrity of practice. (3) Christ is that "Amen" in the Revelation which clenches and ratifies to men the whole scroll of love. And every glimpse of joy, and every flood of sorrow in a believer's heart, coming and working its appointed purpose there, just according to the chart which God laid down from all eternity—gives another and another evidence of the fact that Christ is Truth.

    III. Let us draw one or two conclusions. (1) Repose upon Christ. No storms can shake a man when he has a promise, and feels it under him like a rock. (2) Cultivate the truth. Be real; get rid of phraseologies—go deeper than words to facts. Go deeper than facts—get thoughts. Go deeper than thoughts—get principles. Be real—wherever you are, be the same man—a ray of light put into this dark world, to be clear, and make clearness all about it.

    J. Vaughan, Sermons, 1868, p. 237.

    Christ the Life

    I. We are accustomed to think and speak of life as issuing into death. And the thought is unquestionably true. But there is a yet deeper one, that death issues into life. Consider how many things that live had their cradle in death. The whole animal creation is full of the beautiful transformations of an inferior creature that dies into another formation of itself, much lovelier than the first. In the moral world means are continually dying for the ends to which these means were subservient and lived. In the spiritual and hidden life, every Christian knows too well what an inward dying to self there must be in daily mortifications and most painful crucifixions, that the Divine life may come forth in its power. And all this is leading us up to that great crowning doctrine of our faith, of which all this is only the allegory, that all life sprang first out of the death of Jesus Christ.

    II. The supremacy of Christ over the whole history of life, or rather, I would say, the identity of Christ with the life of every soul, will be the more apparent, if we look at the subject in one or two of its bearings. (1) Let us take the life of nature. "By Him all things consist,"—i.e., are kept together, are held in their places and being. And thus the heavens and the earth, and all that are left in them of order, and promise, and stability, and sweetness, is kept against that day when by Him again, by His promise in the midst of them, they shall be restored to more than their original dignity and loveliness. (2) Turn now to things spiritual. Christ is life not for Himself but for His Church. For whatever God gives to the Son, He gives Him for the Church's sake. The first Adam was a being of real, inherent, energetic life; but he could not communicate it, he was not intended to communicate it to another. But the Second Adam was not only to live, but to diffuse life to live in other lives, to be a fountain of life, to be the life of the whole world. That is what it means; "The first man, Adam, was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."

    J. Vaughan, Sermons, 1868, p. 245.

    Union with Christ

    I. It is not given to us to know the beginnings of anything, much less of the deep process of union between the soul and Christ, but this much I can say, the great power of the Holy Ghost comes forth in its sovereignty and lays hold of a man's thoughts and the desires and feelings of his mind, and under its influence draws it and makes it come near to Christ. That thought, having come near to Christ, becomes impregnated with a new principle, "life." All other living things shall have their death. The stars will go out, the world will cease, but without the cessation of a single moment from that date, stronger, happier, brighter, intenser, gladder, it will go on through time into eternity, and through eternity rising everlastingly. And why? It has in it all the immensity and all the eternity of Him who says "I am the Life."

    II. Look now alone on two points concerning this life of Christ, so begun in a man's soul. See (1) its completeness; (2) its security; "Your life is hid with Christ in God." What God hides who shall find? (3) its strength. An infant's hand, held by a giant's arm, assumes gigantic force. The very seaweed, with the ocean at its back, is borne with something of the ocean's might. And what duty is too high, what trial too heavy, what attainment inaccessible for a man who has and realises that he has Christ in him. (4) Its peace. Surely where He dwells no wave of troubled thought can roll heavily. (5) Its expectation. Christ in you the hope of glory. (6) Its finality, its end of ends—God's glory. That makes and will make for ever and ever your soul a paradise to God, when He can behold everything which He has made in you, and behold it is very good, because Christ is the life thereof.

    J. Vaughan, Sermons, 1868, p. 253.

    In these marvellous words our Lord has grappled with the question of all questions, and has answered the enquiry of all times and of all ages. He has told us how we can be accepted with God.

    I. "I am the Way." What does that mean? Our Lord takes Thomas' last question and answers it first. He tells him first that He is the Way, before He tells him whither He is going; and therefore seeing that that was the method adopted by Him who knew what was in man, we may be quite sure that this answer of our Blessed Lord is the one that first appeals to the questionings of the human heart. The first question which the soul asks when it becomes anxious about its eternal state is, "Lord, what must I do to be saved?" Our Lord says, "I am the Way," and therefore the first thing we must do is to place the living Christ before us. If it is possible for Christ to be with us now, as His own word promises that He would be, then we cannot understand how He is to be the way unless we first have the eyes of our mind opened to behold Him. If I am to come into the presence of God, there must be some person who can come between me and God, who can lay his hand upon us both and make us one. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ. He it is who has joined together in Himself heaven and earth, God and man.

    II. But even when we have the first question answered, then comes another question, What is truth? "I am the Truth," says our Lord; and if we would know the truth, then we must ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to Christ, who is Himself the Truth. Thus, you see, the words of our Blessed Lord appeal first to the timid, to those who are anxious about their eternal state; and secondly, to the thoughtful, to those who are perplexed by the conflict of opinion.

    III. But there is yet another class to whom these words are addressed; and that is the practical, to those who want to know what is the life. Christ is Himself the Life. He is not only our mediator with God, He is not only our redemption from sin, but He is also our sanctification. He is not only the life which we must all live, if we would serve Him, but he is Himself the centre of life to us. He is the source of our spiritual life. If we feel that we are dead, if we feel that our heart within us is dull and lifeless, then what is the reason? It is because we do not know Christ as our Life. Thomas did not believe in his Master, therefore he did not understand, and therefore he did not know his Master. If, therefore, we would find in the Lord Jesus in ourselves the fulness of His meaning when He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," we must ask of Him to give us that grace which the doubting Thomas needed, and we must ask Him to help us to believe in Him.

    S. Leathes, Penny Pulpit, No. 701.

    The Patient Master and the Slow Scholars

    I. This question of our Lord's seems to me to carry in it a great lesson as to what ignorance of Christ is. Why does our Lord charge Philip here with not knowing Him? Because Philip had said," Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth us. And why was that question a betrayal of Philip's ignorance of Christ? Because it showed that he had not discerned Him as being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth; and had not understood that "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;" not knowing that all his knowledge of Christ, howsoever tender and sweet it may have been, howsoever full of love and reverence and blind admiration, is the twilight knowledge, which may be called ignorance. Not to know Christ as the manifest God is practically to be ignorant of Him altogether. You do not know a man if you only know the subordinate characteristics of His nature, but not the essential ones. The very inmost secret of Christ is this, that He is the Incarnate God, the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.

    II. These words give us a glimpse into the pained and loving heart of our Lord. We very seldom hear Him speak about His own feelings or experience, and when He does it is always in some such incidental way as this. There is complaint and pain in the question, the pain of vainly endeavouring to teach, vainly endeavouring to help, vainly endeavouring to love. But the question reveals also the depth and patience of a clinging love that was not turned away by the pain. Let us remember that the same pained and patient love is in the heart of the throned Christ today.

    III. Let us look at this question as being a piercing question addressed to each of us. It is the great wonder of human history that after eighteen hundred years the world knows so little of Jesus Christ. In Him are infinite depths to be experienced and to become acquainted with, and if we know Him at all, as we ought to do, our knowledge of Him will be growing day by day. Let us seek to know Christ more, and to know Him most chiefly in this aspect, that He is for us the manifest God and the Saviour of the world.

    A. Maclaren, A Year's Ministry, 2nd series, p. 59.

    References: John 14:6.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. v., No. 245; vol. xvi., No. 942; H. P. Liddon, Advent Sermons, vol. ii., p. 362; Bishop Monkhouse, Church of England Pulpit, vol. i., p. 191; Homilist, vol. vi., p. 326; E. Blencowe, Plain Sermons to a Country Congregation, vol. i., p. 174; R. Lorimer, Bible Studies in Life and Truth, pp. 315, 333; G. Moberly, Plain Sermons at Brightstone, p. 101; Contemporary Pulpit, vol. v., p. 54; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 154; Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 179; H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 331; R. W. Pearson, Ibid., vol. iv., p. 157; J. T. Stannard, Ibid., vol. x., pp. 340, 373, 383; J. C. Gallaway, Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 42; Outline Sermons to Children, 206; E. Bersier, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 367; J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 8th series, pp. 292, 300, 308, 314. John 14:7, John 14:8.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iv., p. 519. John 14:7, John 14:9.—W. Roberts, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 209. John 14:8.—F. Wagstaff, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 390; Homilist, 3rd series, vol. ii., p. 301. John 14:8-9.—H. Melvill, Voices of the Year, vol. ii., p. 427; G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 239; Homilist, vol. v. p. 42; Christian World Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 128; J. C. Gallaway, Ibid., vol. xii., p. 346; Homiletic Magazine, vol. viii., p. 8; Ibid., vol. xiv., p. 215. John 14:8-11.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii., p. 148; Homilist, 3rd series, vol. vii., p. 61. John 14:8-14.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 401. John 14:8-16.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iv., pp. 224, 225.

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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    John 14:6. I am the way, and the truth, and the life: Our Lord, most probably, had here in view the metaphors which he formerly used, I am the door of the sheep, Ch. John 10:7. I am the bread of life, Ch. John 6:35. And therefore, it might well have been expected, that, having so lately delivered the same sentiments, the disciples would have understood him now. Some have supposed the form of expression before us to be a Hebraism, whose meaning is, I am the true and living way; as Daniel 3:7 all the people, the nations, and the languages, signifies, people of all nations and languages. But in whatever manner we resolve the sentence, its meaning is the same; namely, "faith in me, and obedience to my commandments, will lead you to my Father's house, where I am going. They are the only true road to the mansions of felicity." See Ch. John 1:4; John 1:14; John 1:17, John 5:33.

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 14:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    6.] Our Lord, as Lücke (after Bengel) remarks (ii. 596), inverts the order of Thomas’s question, and in answering it practically, for them, speaks of ‘the Way’ first. He is THE WAY not merely the Forerunner; which would imply on our part only an outward connexion with Him as His followers:—but the way, in and on which we must go, having an inner union with and in Him (De Wette): see Hebrews 10:20.

    ἡ ἀλήθεια—more than ὅτι ἀληθεύω κ. πάντως ἔσται ταῦτα, Euth. It is another side of the same idea of the Way;—God being true, and only approached by and in truth. Christ is THE TRUTH, in Whom only (Colossians 2:3 that Knowledge of Him is gained, which (ch. John 17:3) is eternal life.

    ἡ ζωή—not merely because οὐδὲ ὁ θάνατος διαστήσει ὑμᾶς ἐμοῦ, Euthym(193),—but as being THE LIFE (see John 14:19 : Galatians 2:20) of all His, in Whom only they who live can come to the living Father (ch. John 6:57).

    οὐδεὶς ἔρχ.…] This plainly states the ποῦ ὑπάγω, and the way also.

    διʼ ἐμοῦ—as τῆς ὁδοῦ.

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 14:6". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

    Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

    DISCOURSE: 1684


    John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    THERE is in the Christian church a great diversity of character: some, like Nebuchadnezzar’s image, have heads of gold, while their feet are of materials as unstable as they are unsuitable, even of iron and clay. Others are upright in their conversation, while yet their views of divine truth are very imperfect. Such the Apostles shewed themselves all the time of our Lord’s sojourning on earth: nor could the plainest instructions wholly eradicate the errors in which they had been educated from their earliest years. Our Lord had just informed them, that he was about to die, and to go to his Father; and that he would soon come again and receive them to himself, that they might be with him for ever. And, knowing that, in general, they were acquainted with his intentions, he said, “Whither I go, ye know; and the way ye know.” But, alas! though this was true in the general, their minds were at present so engrossed with the notion of an earthly kingdom, that they supposed him to be speaking of some great palace, where he was about to erect his standard. Hence St. Thomas requested further information: to which our Lord replied in the explicit manner related in the text.

    In discoursing on his words, it will be proper to consider,

    I. Our Lord’s description of himself—

    He speaks of himself as,

    1. The way—

    [The first way to heaven was, by the covenant of works. But, when man had sinned, that way was closed for ever [Note: Genesis 3:24.]. From that time another way was opened, through the incarnation and sufferings of God’s only Son. This was announced to the unhappy pair, who were informed, that “the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.” To him therefore they were to look as their mediator and advocate, and through him they were to obtain reconciliation with God. There were two obstacles to their re-admission to the divine favour: these were, guilt and corruption. But both of these were to be removed by Jesus; the former by his blood, the latter by his Spirit. Thus is Christ our way also to the Father making atonement for us by his meritorious death, and renewing us by his all-sufficient grace [Note: Amidst a multitude of passages to this effect, see Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:16; Ephesians 2:18 and Hebrews 10:19-20.].]

    2. The truth—

    [As the Disciples might not be able to reconcile this with the ceremonial law, which appeared to prescribe other means of access to God, our Lord informed them that the legal sacrifices were only shadows, of which he was the substance; and figurative representations, of which he was the truth. There had been many persons raised up as saviours and deliverers. Many different things also were intended to mark out the way of salvation: the manna from heaven; the water from the rock; the brazen serpent; the daily sacrifices, with innumerable others; but they all pointed at him as the one true source of reconciliation, of healing, of spiritual vigour, and of eternal salvation. He was the one scope and end of all, in whom all were united; from whom all derived their efficacy; and by whom they all were both accomplished and annulled.]

    3. The life—

    [It would have been to but little purpose to direct his Disciples in what way to go, if he had not told them how they might obtain life and strength to walk in that way. They, as well as all others, were by nature dead in trespasses and sins. Jesus therefore added yet further, that he was “the life.” By this we are not to understand merely that Jesus is the author and giver of life: but that he is really to the soul what the soul is to the body. Without the soul, the body is altogether motionless and senseless. It is the soul that animates, as it were, the different members, and enables them to perform their proper functions. So, without Christ, the soul has no spiritual motion or perception: it is from its union with Christ that it has a sufficiency for any thing that is good [Note: John 15:5. 2 Corinthians 3:5.]. Christ must live in the soul, as the soul does in the body. If we live, it is not we that live, but Christ that liveth in us [Note: Galatians 2:20.].” Hence He both calls himself [Note: John 11:25.], and is called by others [Note: Colossians 3:4.], “our life.”]

    This description will appear of the greatest importance, if we consider,

    II. His declaration founded upon it—

    Many are the ways which men have devised of coming unto God—

    [Some have sought for mediators among their fellow-creatures. Others have trusted in their own repentances and reformations — — — Innumerable are the refuges of lies in which sinners have sought to hide themselves from the displeasure of God — — —]

    But there is no way to God but through Christ—

    [Nothing can be plainer than our Lord’s assertion. If we ask, What is the way to God? He answers, ‘I am.’ If we inquire, What other way there is? He answers, ‘None.’ If we wish to be informed whether there be not some exception in favour of those who have served God from their earliest infancy, as Timothy, or to the most advanced age, as John? the answer is, ‘No: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me:” ’ Timothy must come as Mary Magdalen, out of whom seven devils were cast; and John, as the thief, who died a few hours after his conversion. All need equally to have their guilt expiated, and their hearts renewed: and there is none but Jesus who can do either the one or the other of these things fur us: therefore there is no other name or power but his, that can ever save us [Note: Acts 4:12.].]


    1. Those who are ignorant of the Saviour—

    [Have you so little concern for heaven that you will not inquire the way thither? Or do you suppose that a life of worldliness and carnal ease is the path that leads to God; and that men will find it, as it were, blindfold? If this were the case, Jesus would never have become incarnate, and died upon the cross, to open a way for you; nor would he have warned you to the contrary in such solemn terms as those before us. Consider this; for every tittle of his word, whether credited or not, shall be fulfilled.]

    2. Those who desire to come to God—

    [Beware lest you attempt for a moment to find any other way than that marked out for you by Christ. He must be your only way of access to God. We do not say that you are not to walk in the way of holiness, (for the Scripture asserts the contrary in the strongest terms [Note: Isaiah 35:8.]) but this we say; It is the blood of Christ, and not your own holiness, that must reconcile you to God; and it is the Spirit of Christ, and not your own natural powers, that must enable you to believe in him, or to serve him. Submit to this at once [Note: Romans 10:3.]; for you must be brought to it, if ever you would enter into the kingdom of heaven. You cannot come to God in prayer, but by Christ; much less can you be admitted to him in heaven. Even Christ himself, as the sinner’s representative, entered into heaven by his own blood [Note: Hebrews 9:12.]: think not therefore that ye shall enter in by any other way.]

    3. Those who have already come to God—

    [Yes; blessed be God, many have come, through Christ as their way, and by Christ as their life: and O, whither are they going? to their Father’s house, whither Christ is gone before to prepare a place for them! What a joyful thought! every day and hour brings them nearer to their home! and, for aught they know, they may arrive at those blissful mansions within the space of a few months, or days, or even hours! Regard not then if your road be occasionally rough; but keep in it; press forward; turn not from it even to the end; and, “when Christ, who is your life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”]

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    Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on John 14:6". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    John 14:6. I (no other than I) am the way, on which men must go, in order to come to the Father in His heavenly house, John 14:2-3, and the truth, and the life. But since no one, without going the prescribed way, without having appropriated the truth to himself, and without bearing in himself the life, can come to that goal, οὐδεὶς, κ. τ. λ., is thus the exponent to all three particulars, not merely to the first. The three moments lay down the proposition that no other than Christ is the Mediator of eternal salvation with God in the Messianic kingdom, according to three several characteristic aspects which are co-ordinated, yet in such a way that the advance is made from the general to the particular. The characteristic of the mediation of salvation, in the first point, is not designated with reference to matter (as in ἀλήθεια and ξωή), but as to form, in so far, namely, as the mediation of salvation itself is therein expressed in a specific figure (comp. John 10:9). On individual points, note: (1) Christ is the Way, not because He ὑπέδειξε τὴν ὁδόν (Cyril. Melanchthon, and many others), whereby both the expression and the figure are departed from, and the relation of things is not sufficiently attended to, but because in His personal manifestation the mediation of salvation is objectively given, absolutely the sole mediation for all men, but which has to be made use of subjectively, that is, by faith on Him, like the man who is aiming at a goal, and for that purpose must take and pursue the given way which is the means of its attainment. (2) Christ is the Truth, because He is the self-revelation of God which has been manifested (John 14:7; John 14:9), the Light that is come into the world, without the appropriation of which salvation is not obtained. (3) He is the Life (Colossians 3:4), because He is the Principle and Source of eternal life (in its temporal development and future consummation); so that whoever has not received Him into himself by faith (John 6:50-51, John 11:25-26), has become a prey to spiritual and eternal death; comp. Ignatius, ad Trall. 9 : οὗ χωρὶς τὸ ἀλήθινον ζῆν οὐκ ἔχομεν; ad Ephesians 3 : χριστὸς τὸ ἀδιάκριτον ἡμῶν ζῆν. These three points are not to be separated according to time (Luther: beginning, middle, end; so also Calvin), but Christ is all three at once,—in that He is the one, He is also the second and the third,—although this cannot justify an arbitrary fusion of the three predicates (as would be the Augustinian vera via vitae).

    οὐδεὶς ἔρχεται, κ. τ. λ.] the Johannean sola fide. Note how John 14:6 is the summary of the most perfect self-confession of the Son regarding Himself and His work.

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    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    John 14:6. ὁδός, καὶ ἀληθεία, καὶ ζωή, the way, and the truth, and the life) He is called in the Soliloquies of Augustine, ch. iv., the true way of life [vera via vitæ]. But the text has greater force, comprising the sum of the doctrine concerning Jesus Christ. For to the question concerning the Way, He answers this, I am the Way: to the question concerning Knowledge [John 14:5, How can we know?], He answers this, I am the Truth: to the question, Whither? He makes that answer, I am the Life. [To the metaphoric declaration, I am the Way, there is subjoined, for the sake of explanation, a more literal (plain, not figurative) declaration, I am both the Truth and the Life. He who moves onward by this way, he, and he alone, truly avails himself of the right path; and he who stedfastly holds to this way, he has life for ever.—V. g.] At the same time, also, three propositions are stated (comp. similarly the three [things, of which the Spirit reproves the world, sin, righteousness, and judgment], ch. John 16:8), of which the first, that concerning the way, is handled presently after in this verse, “No man cometh to the Father, but by Me;” concerning the truth, at John 14:7, etc., 17, “The Spirit of Truth:—ye know Him;” concerning the life, John 14:18-19, etc., “Because I live, ye shall live also;”— πρὸς τὸν πατέρα, to the Father) This again answers the question as to knowing [John 14:5]. The one and only way, the sure way.— διʼ ἐμοῦ, by Me) This again answers the question as to the way.

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    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Christ was his own way to his Father; By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, Hebrews 9:12. See Luke 24:26 Philippians 2:8. But both the former words, where the apostle spake of the way they should go, and the following words, hint to us, that Christ is here speaking of their way, not his own.

    As to them, he saith,

    I am the way; that is, the way by which those must get to heaven who will ever come there. Christ is our way to heaven by the doctrine which he taught; by his death, by which he purchased this heavenly inheritance for us; by his holy life and conversation, setting us an example that we should follow his steps; by the influence of his Spirit, guiding us to, and assisting us in, those holy actions by which we must come unto glory.

    He is

    the truth; that is, say some, the true way to life eternal: but he is the truth as to His doctrine, the gospel being the word of truth, Ephesians 1:13: and as truth signifies reality and accomplishment, in opposition to the prophecies and promises, all being but words till they were in him fulfilled; in which sense we read of the true tabernacle, and the true holy places, Hebrews 8:2 Hebrews 9:24: or as truth is opposed to falsehood, as truth is taken John 8:44 Romans 3:7.

    And he is

    the life, the Author and Giver of eternal life, John 11:25 1 John 5:11; and the purchaser of it by his death; he who by his doctrine showeth the way to it, and by his Holy Spirit begins it, and carrieth it on to perfection. The Jews thought the way to it was by the law of Moses; but our Saviour beateth his disciples out of that opinion: for if the law could have given life, Christ had died in vain, as the apostle argues. Therefore (saith he) there is no coming to the Father

    but by me; no way for you or any other, to come to heaven, but by receiving, and embracing, and believing in me.

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    Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

    В Евангелии от Иоанна это шестое утверждение Иисуса «Я есмь» (см. 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 15:1, 5). В ответ на вопрос Фомы (ст. 4) Иисус провозгласил, что Он есть путь к Богу, потому что Он – Божья истина (1:14) и Божья жизнь (1:4; 3:15; 11:25). В этом стихе подчеркивается исключительность Иисуса как единственного доступа к Отцу. К Богу ведет не много путей, а только один, т.е. Иисус Христос (10:7-9; ср. Мф. 7:13, 14; Лк. 13:24; Деян. 4:12).

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    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    I am the way; to God’s presence.

    The truth; the author and revealer of truth.

    The life; the author and giver of life, natural and spiritual. There is no way of access to the Father but through his Son Jesus Christ. Those, therefore, who willfully reject him, have no scriptural communion with God.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    6.I am the way—Our Lord at once, declining all topography, and refusing to lift the vail to the curiosity of his apostle, concentrates his attention and faith into himself. If Thomas wishes to know the way and the terminus, let him repose full, unquestioning faith in the Son of God. He is the way by which we go; the truth by which we learn the way; and the life in which the way finally merges.

    Cometh’ Father’ by me—He is the living way of access to the Father. He is the bridge from man to God. And, what is the same thing, he is the bridge from earth to heaven.


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    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘Jesus says to him, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.’

    Jesus then explained more fully what He meant. These words of Jesus have filled a multitude of books, and rightly so, for they make Jesus totally central as the way to the Father. Compare Peter’s words, ‘neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). This fact must not be under-emphasised. It is indicating that He is ‘THE Way’. He is the Way to the Father because through His offering of Himself He has opened up access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12), both as a result of His cleansing us and making us holy (1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:14; 1 John 1:7), and as a result of Him clothing us in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 5:17-19; Isaiah 61:10)’ It is through Him alone that we can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). But He is also the Way in that He has brought us truth and life. He is thus saying the Way, firstly as the One Who has fully revealed truth both through His being, and through His life and His teaching, and secondly as the One Who imparts eternal life through His Spirit. In other words He is the way because full response to Him, His words, His self-revelation, His offering of eternal life through Himself as the source of that life, is the way to the Father. They who thus receive Him become the children of God and are born of God (John 1:12-13). Indeed we may take it further. He is the way because once they are in Him they will be carried by Him to their new home.

    We notice here Jesus’ claim to absolute uniqueness. It has been well said that He does not say, ‘I am one of many ways, I am an aspect of truth, I am a phase of life’. He tells us that He is uniquely THE way, the only way; He is uniquely THE truth, the fullness of truth; He is THE life, the source of life. All is centred in Him. He is pivotal. In the end it is He alone Who can make essentially real in us what truth is and Who can impart life to us. Others can be pointers and signposts. But they must point to Him. He is the final goal. Others can show the way, can impart truth, and can point to life outside of themselves. But He is the way to which they point, the truth imparted is summed up in Himself, He is the life to be received. All the emphasis is on Him.

    That is why no one can come to the Father except through Him, for it is through what He is, and what He will do, that men are able to be forgiven, are enabled to be enlightened, and can receive eternal life. He is the complete and total solution. All other great teachers point away from themselves, aware of their own inadequacy. He points to Himself as the One Who is fully adequate. In this statement was a claim to a uniqueness that reveals true Godhood. To any but God such claims would have been both blasphemous and ridiculous.

    It should be noted that ‘no one can come to the Father except by me’ applies to all ages from the beginning to the end. The Old Testament believers came to God through the way He revealed, through sacrifices. But these sacrifices looked forward to what was to come. It was because Jesus would come and offer Himself as a sacrifice that God could ‘pass over things done aforetime’ (Romans 3:25). If those who were not aware of the old revelation, yet responded to the revelation within their own consciences (Romans 2:14-16) and came to salvation, it was through Him that their salvation would come, even though they were unaware of it. If there are some relatively few who since Christ’s life on earth have responded to God in a saving way, without having heard the Good News fully, and there are probable examples of this, they too come through Him. For He is the source of all saving truth, whether revealed through nature or revealed through Scripture. And He is the source of all saving life. He is the One Who ministers it. Through Him alone comes salvation to the saved among mankind. (We can be so used to this idea that sometimes we fail to recognise just how all embracing it is).

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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". 2013.

    Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

    Jesus again gave an enigmatic answer. He had already said plainly that He would die and rise again at least three times (cf. Mark 8:31-32; Mark 9:30-32; Mark 10:32-34). Nevertheless the disciples" preconceptions of Messiah"s ministry did not allow them to interpret His words literally.

    The words "way," "truth," and "life" are all coordinate in Jesus" answer; Jesus described Himself as the way, the truth, and the life. The "way" is slightly more dominant in view of Thomas" question and its position in relation to the "truth" and the "life." Jesus is the way to God because He is the truth from God and the life from God. He is the truth because He embodies God"s supreme revelation ( John 1:18; John 5:19; John 8:29), and He is the life because He contains and imparts divine life ( John 1:4; John 5:26; John 11:25; cf. 1 John 5:20). Jesus was summarizing and connecting many of the revelations about Himself that He had previously given the Eleven.

    "He not only shows people the way (i.e, by revealing it), but he is the way (i.e, he redeems us). In this connection "the truth" ... will have saving significance. It will point to Jesus" utter dependability, but also to the saving truth of the gospel. "The life" (see on John 1:4) will likewise take its content from the gospel. Jesus is both life and the source of life to believers." [Note: Morris, p569.]

    Jesus was not saying that He was one way to God among many. He was not saying that He pointed the way to God either. He said that no one comes to God the Father but through faith in Himself. This means that religions that assign Jesus a role that is different from the one that the Bible gives Him do not bring people to God or eternal life. This was an exclusive claim to being the only way to heaven (cf. John 10:9; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). It is only because of Jesus Christ"s work on the cross that anyone can enter heaven. Since He has come it is only through faith in the promise of God that His cross work satisfied the Father that anyone experiences regeneration ( John 1:12; John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; et al.). Since He has come, rejection of God"s revelation through Him results in eternal damnation ( John 3:36).

    This is the sixth of Jesus "I am" claims (cf. John 6:48; John 8:12; John 10:9; John 10:11; John 11:25; John 15:1).

    "We should not overlook the faith involved both in the utterance and in the acceptance of those words, spoken as they were on the eve of the crucifixion. "I am the Way," said one who would shortly hang impotent on a cross. "I am the Truth," when the lies of evil people were about to enjoy a spectacular triumph. "I am the Life," when within a matter of hours his corpse would be placed in a tomb." [Note: Ibid, p570.]

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    Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father but through me. The three terms here used must not be taken as expressing three independent thoughts; still less can we fuse them into one, as if the meaning were, ‘I am the true way of life.’ It is evident, both from what precedes and from what follows, that the emphasis is on ‘way,’ and that the two other terms are in some sense additional and explicative. But in what sense? Let us notice that the thought of the Father is the leading thought of the previous verses of the chapter, and that in John 14:7 the knowledge of the Father is the great end to be attained; let us further observe that truth and ‘life’ are precisely the two constituent elements of that knowledge, the one that upon which it rests, the other that in which it issues; and we shall see that Jesus adds these two designations of Himself to the first, because they express the contents, the substance, of that in which the ‘way’ consists. The Father is ‘the truth,’ ‘the life:’ Jesus is the revelation of these to men: because He is so He is ‘the way;’ and because He only is so, He is the only way to the Father. We must beware, however, of the supposition that the ‘life ‘thus spoken of is only life to us in a future world. It is life now in that ever-ascending cycle of experience in which the believer passes from one stage to another of ‘truth,’ and thus from one stage to another of corresponding ‘life.’ In the present ‘way’ we have present ‘truth’ and present ‘life;’ and each fresh appropriation of the truth deepens that communion by which the life is conditioned. It may be well to notice, too, that the prominence here given to the mention of the ‘way’ arises from that thought of separation with which the minds of the disciples were filled. Jesus had said to them, ‘I must go away,’ and it seemed to them as if in the language a journey were involved, which would separate them from their Lord. Therefore with loving condescension the figure is taken up, and they are assured that He is Himself, if we may so speak, this very distance to be traversed. Is it a ‘way’ that they have to travel? Then He is ‘the way,’ and all along its course they shall be still with Him. Hence also the following verse.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". 1879-90.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    John 14:6. . “I am the way and the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father save through me.” I do not merely point out the way and teach the truth and bestow life, but I am the way and the truth and the life, so that by attachment to me one necessarily is in the way and possesses the truth and the life. “The way” here referred to is the way to the Father. He is the goal of all human aspiration: and there is but one way to the Father, “no one comes,” etc.— , “and the truth,” primarily about God and the way to Him, but also as furnishing us with all knowledge which we now require for life. Thomas craved knowledge sufficient to guide him in the present crisis. Jesus says: You have it in me.— , “and the life”; the death which casts its shadow over the eleven and Himself is itself to be swallowed up in life. Those who are one with Jesus cannot die. They are possessed of the source of the source of life. Further see Hort’s The Way, etc., and Bernard’s Central Teaching.— , “no one comes to the Father save through me” as the way, the truth, the life. It is not “through believing certain propositions regarding me” nor “through some special kind of faith,” but “through me”.



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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 14:6". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    Jesus. App-98.

    am. This affirmation used by our Lord at least twenty-five times in John. See John 4:26; John 6:20 ("It is I". Greek Ego eimi), 35, 41, 48, 51; John 8:12, John 8:18, John 8:23, John 8:24, John 8:28, John 8:58; John 10:7, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 10:14; John 11:25; John 13:19; John 15:1, John 15:5; John 18:5, John 18:6, John 18:8, John 18:37.

    way. Compare Acts 9:2; Acts 18:25, Acts 18:26; Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:22.

    the truth = and the truth. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton to emphasize the Lord"s statement.

    truth. Greek aletheia. Compare App-175. This word occurs twenty-five times in John, always in the lips of the Lord, save John 1:14, John 1:17 and John 18:38 (Pilate). Only seven times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

    life. App-170., a characteristic word in this Gospel, where it occurs thirty-six times. See first occurance (Matthew 7:14), "the way which leadeth unto life", and compare 1 John 5:11, 1 John 5:12, 1 John 5:20.

    no man = no one. Greek. oudeis.

    cometh. Compare John 6:44.

    the Father. See John 1:14,

    but = if not. Greek ei me.

    by = through. Greek dia. App-104. John 14:1.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 14:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY - in what sense is explained in the last clause: but He had said it before in these words, "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (John 10:9).

    And THE TRUTH - the Incarnate Reality of all we find in the Father, when through Christ we get to Him; because "in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 1:19). And THE LIFE - the vitality of all that shah ever flow into us from the Godhead thus approached and thus manifested in Him: for "this is the true God, and eternal life" (1 John 5:20).

    No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Of this three-fold statement of what He is, Jesus explains here only the first-His being "the Way;" not as if that were in itself more important than the other two, but because the Intervention or Mediation of Christ between God and men is the distinctive feature of Christianity. His being the Truth and the Life gives us what may be called the Christen aspect of the Godhead, as the Object of the soul's aspirations and the center of its eternal bliss: but that God, even as thus viewed, is approachable and enjoyable by men only through the mediation of Christ, tells of that sinful separation of the soul from God, the knowledge and feeling of which constitute the necessary preparative to any and every saving approach to God, and to the believing reception and use of Christ as the Way to Him. Hence, it is that oar Lord comes back upon this, as in the first instance what needs most to be impressed upon us.

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (6) I am the way.—The pronoun is emphatic. “I, and none besides Me.” “The way” is again made prominent, reversing the order which Thomas had used. He and He only is the means through which men can approach to the Father. (Comp. Notes on John 1:18, and on 1 Timothy 2:5.)

    The truth, and the life.—Better, and the Truth, and the Life. The thought of His being the Way through which men come to the Father is the reverse side of the thought, that in Him the Father is revealed to men, that He is Himself the Eternal Truth, that He is Himself the Source of eternal life. (Comp. John 1:14; John 1:17; John 6:50-51; John 11:25-26.) Had they known what His earlier words meant, they would have had other than temporal and local thoughts of the Father’s house, and would have known Him to be the Way.

    No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.—This was the answer to the doubt of Thomas. This was the true “whither” which they knew not. The thought of heaven is not of a place far above, or of a time far before, but of a state now and hereafter. To receive the Truth and the Life revealed in the presence of the Son is to come to the Father by the only Way. To be with the Father is home. (Comp. Notes on John 1:18; John 3:13.)

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    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    I am
    10:9; Isaiah 35:8,9; Matthew 11:27; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:8; 10:19-22; 1 Peter 1:21
    the truth
    1:14,17; 8:32; 15:1; 18:37; Romans 15:8,9; 2 Corinthians 1:19,20; Colossians 2:9,17; 1 John 1:8; 5:6,20; Revelation 1:5; 3:7,14; 19:11
    the life
    19; 1:4; 5:21,25-29; 6:33,51,57,68; 8:51; 10:28; 11:25,26; 17:2,3; Acts 3:15; Romans 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 1:1,2; 5:11,12; Revelation 22:1,17
    10:7,9; Acts 4:12; Romans 15:16; 1 Peter 2:4; 3:18; 1 John 2:23; 2 John 1:9; Revelation 5:8,9; Revelation 7:9-17; 13:7,8; 20:15
    Reciprocal: Genesis 3:24 - to keep;  Exodus 26:36 - hanging;  Exodus 40:5 - the altar;  Exodus 40:28 - GeneralExodus 40:33 - hanging;  Leviticus 17:4 - bringeth;  Deuteronomy 30:20 - thy life;  Deuteronomy 32:4 - a God;  1 Kings 6:31 - doors;  Psalm 2:12 - ye perish;  Psalm 25:9 - his way;  Psalm 26:3 - and;  Psalm 33:4 - all his;  Psalm 45:4 - because;  Psalm 85:11 - Truth;  Psalm 117:2 - GeneralPsalm 139:24 - the way;  Proverbs 2:9 - GeneralProverbs 8:7 - my mouth;  Proverbs 8:35 - whoso;  Proverbs 15:24 - way;  Isaiah 49:11 - GeneralIsaiah 65:16 - in the God;  Jeremiah 32:39 - one way;  Ezekiel 47:9 - shall live;  Matthew 7:13 - at;  Matthew 22:16 - true;  John 1:9 - the true;  John 4:21 - worship;  John 5:26 - so hath;  John 6:27 - which the;  John 7:34 - GeneralJohn 7:37 - let;  John 8:12 - shall have;  John 8:18 - one;  John 8:19 - if;  John 14:13 - in my;  John 20:17 - I ascend;  Acts 2:28 - made;  Acts 16:17 - the way;  Romans 8:6 - to be spiritually minded;  1 Corinthians 1:30 - wisdom;  Ephesians 3:12 - GeneralEphesians 4:21 - as;  Colossians 1:12 - the Father;  Colossians 2:6 - walk;  2 Thessalonians 2:13 - belief;  1 Timothy 2:4 - the knowledge;  1 Timothy 3:15 - the truth;  1 Timothy 6:13 - who quickeneth;  2 Timothy 1:10 - and hath;  Hebrews 7:8 - he liveth;  Hebrews 7:19 - we;  Hebrews 10:20 - a new;  Hebrews 11:6 - he that;  Hebrews 13:15 - him;  2 Peter 1:17 - God;  2 Peter 2:2 - ways;  1 John 2:1 - Father;  1 John 4:9 - we;  Revelation 22:14 - and may

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 14:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

    Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

    John 14:6

    "Jesus said unto him, I am the way." John 14:6

    How is Jesus the way? In everything that he is to God"s people he is the way. His blood is the way to heaven; "for the whole path," asHart speaks, "is lined with blood." By his precious blood shed upon Calvary"s tree he has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and opened a way of access to God. His righteousness, also, is part of the way; for only so far as we stand clothed in his glorious righteousness have we any access unto, any acceptance with God the Father. And his love is the way; for if we walk in love, we walk in him, for he is love. Every part of the way was devised and is executed by the love of his tender heart.

    But the way, also, is the way of tribulation. Was not Jesus himself the great Sufferer? And if he be the way, the only way, I must be conformed to his likeness in suffering. Not to know afflictions and tribulations, is not to know Christ. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!" And if Song of Solomon, to have no sorrow, to have no acquaintance with grief, and to know nothing of tribulation, is to proclaim to all with a loud voice that we have no union and communion with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    But we are continually turning aside "to the right hand" or "to the left." There is that cowardice in the heart which cannot bear the cross; there is that slipping into carnal ease and fleshly security, so as to get away from under the painful cross of affliction and suffering. But when we thus turn aside "to the right hand" or "to the left," the voice the Lord sends after us Isaiah, "This is the way"—the way of affliction; no other; the way of tribulation, the way of trial, the way of exercise. This is the way in which the King walked of old; and this is the way in which all his people have walked before him and after him; for this is the only path in which the footsteps of the flock can be found.

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    Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on John 14:6". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible.

    Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

    Ver. 6. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

    When our Lord calls Himself the way, that means more than merely the guide. "The example," says Luther, "of Christ is very precious, but it is too high for us, and we cannot follow it. I must have a firm and sure bridge which will carry me over." The word "I am the way," points to the fact that he who would enter heaven must be baptized and lost in Christ, so that not he himself shall live, but Christ in him. Jesus does not only show the way: He is the way. Only in absolute union to His person, only in the most internal fellowship with Him, can heaven be attained. This shows us the deep misery of our fallen nature, which of itself is altogether excluded from heaven. "Many paths paved by Divinity lead to happiness" is the maxim of the world; Christ declares these many ways to be only bypaths and ways of error. He teaches only one way

    Himself; and to know only, one, is the note and badge of His disciples. The "particularism," the individuality, which is now, under the dominion of rationalism, so much scorned, is the signature of the Christian Church. "With this one stroke," says an old expositor, "Christ rejects all the worship of the heathen, of Mohammedans, and Jews outside the Church;" and, we would add, the delusion of all deists, freemasons, and rationalists. "Here is," says Luther, "another marvellous thing; and this is what St John is evermore urging, that all our doctrine and believing must tend to Christ." "A Carthusian monk makes a way in which he would reach to heaven: I will forsake the world as wicked and impure; I will go into a corner, fast every day, eat no flesh, and plague my body; such vigorous spiritual life God will regard, and by it save me." The rationalist thinks that, in a way of righteousness much less anxiously sought out, he will attain to heaven. But the true Church of Christ knows, with Him, no other way than He Himself.

    The words, "and the truth, and the life," must essentially intimate the same thing. For the clause, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me," refers back to "I am the way." Accordingly, the clause intervening must present the same relation under another expression: I am the way, because the truth and the life. This is important in the consideration of many expositions given of the words, especially of καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια. That exposition is the only right one according to which the truth does not remain apart from the way and the life: the only idea of truth appropriate here is that in which Christ, as the truth, is at the same time the way and the life; just as all definitions of the way are inadmissible which remain apart from the idea of truth and of life.

    Hence "I am the truth" cannot refer to the truth of words, but only to the truth of being, from which indeed truth of words necessarily flows. I am the truth is the same as, I am Jehovah; for Jehovah, Jahve, means the Being, the pure absolute existence, independent of which all is delusion, in whom all must participate who would be partakers of that Being which is the only source of all creaturely existence.

    "I am the truth:" thereby the Lord primarily places Himself in opposition to all that is created, to the world and all that therein is. But the exclusiveness refers in a certain sense even to the Father and the Holy Spirit. To men, Christ is the truth; if, passing by Him, they would seek the truth in God or the Spirit, they find nothing but delusion and a lie. Only in Him is the Father and the Holy Ghost accessible to man as the truth.

    If Christ is the way. He must also in this sense be the truth; and were He not the truth in this sense. He could not be the way. No man can win heaven who does not, in personal union with the personal truth, attain to redemption from the miserable delusion of the present world, from the shining impiety of its virtues, the wretched phrases of its truths, the hollowness of its inspirations, and the hypocrisy of all its views. If Christ is the truth. He must also be the way. He who is baptized into the truth, and penetrated by it, he who is taken lip into the fellowship of the personal truth, has heaven opened to him,—that abode of truth which is the absolute opposite of the vanity and the lie which from the Fall has set up its seat in the earth.

    The Old Testament passage in which the word truth occurs in this sense is Jeremiah 10:10 : "But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King." Jehovah as truth (Michaelis: Veritas in re) forms here the contrast to the false gods, whose nature is nothing else than deception and nothingness. That passage is seen the more certainly to be connected with this one, from the circumstance that there also the truth is conjoined with the life. There it is the effect of the truth of God that before His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot abide His indignation. This shows that truth does not there mean truth of words, but truth of being. That which is there uttered of Jehovah, is here appropriated by Christ to Himself; as truth is to lie, in Romans 1:25, the relation of God is to the idols. The truth of God means there, that He is as such the possessor of all true being, and that out of Him there is nothing but vanity; whence the necessary consequence is, that he who would be a partaker of the truth must partake of it only in fellowship with God.

    In ch. John 1:14, Christ is spoken of as "full of grace and truth;" by that very word He is exalted above humanity, and placed in the Divine sphere, whose high prerogative it is alone to possess the truth. In Revelation 3:7 we read, "These things saith He that is holy. He that is true." There we cannot limit the meaning to the truth of words. That truth of being is signified, may be inferred from the fact that truth is there in juxtaposition with holiness, absolute supremacy above all that is created. In Revelation 19:11, Christ as the True One is the antithesis of Psalms 116:11, "All men are liars," who deceive those who trust in them, and cannot help those who hope in them. The truth of the nature of Christ, which is based upon His almightiness and true divinity, appears there as the guarantee of His Church's victory. In 1 John 5:20, the True One is simply and as such identified with the true God; Christ is there first termed "He that is true," and then designated the true God and eternal life.

    As Christ is the truth, so also He is the life: comp. on ch. John 1:4. He who is not in fellowship with Him, has only the semblance of living; in reality he is dead, a walking corpse. Truth and life go hand in hand. Where truth is—true being, without the alloy of delusion and untruth—there is also life, and thence vanish all the miserable restraints which compass about on all sides the existence which is fallen into delusion and the lie.

    There is no reason why we should restrict the coming to the Father to another world. Its meaning rather is generally a relation to the Father. Where such a relation is entered into, the way also to the Father's house is opened: it were impossible that He, after the pilgrimage of life is over, should leave those without who once belonged to Him; just as, on the other hand, it were impossible that those should enter the Father's house who never stood in any such personal relation to Him during their life upon earth. The words mean this: No man cometh to the Father, and therefore to the Father's house. That this phrase must be regarded as expressing generally a relation to the Father, is shown moreover by ver. 7, where knowing the Father corresponds to coming to the Father here; and with the negative the positive runs parallel: every man who receiveth Me cometh to the Father, and so to the Father's house.

    This saying of our Lord is full of consolation. No crosses, no tribulations, however severe, can rob Christians of the confidence that they have in Christ, the way, the truth, and the life; that they are in Him redeemed from the oppressive empire of vanity, under which the soul that thirsts after true possessions, τὸ ἀληθινόν, Luke 16:11, is condemned, and from the thraldom of death, which has ever from the Fall compassed man about in all its variety of forms; that they are in the way to that heaven which has come down to earth in the truth and the life, and to which truth and life aspire back as their home. Those things which cannot deprive us of the truth and the life and the heavenly way, are in reality not afflictions; they are, indeed, if they tend to bring us into nearer connection with the truth and the life, to be esteemed rather as "pure joy," James 1:2. This is the right spiritual estimate of all the trials of life and all suffering in the world, which indeed are hard to human nature, and against which human nature continually rebels.

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    Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 14:6". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    6.I am the way. Though Christ does not give a direct reply to the question put to him, yet he passes by nothing that is useful to be known. It was proper that Thomas’ curiosity should be checked; and, therefore, Christ does not explain what would be his condition when he should have departed out of this world to go to the Father, (62) but dwells on a subject far more necessary. Thomas would gladly have heard what Christ intended to do in heaven, as we never become weary of those intricate speculations; but it is of greater importance to us to employ our study and labor in another inquiry, how we may become partakers of the blessed resurrection. The statement amounts to this, that whoever obtains Christ is ill want of nothing; and, therefore, that whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection.

    The way, the truth, and the life. He lays down three degrees, as if he had said, that he is the beginning, and the middle, and the end; and hence it follows that we ought to begin with him, to continue in him, and to end in him. We certainly ought not to seek for higher wisdom than that which leads us to eternal life, and he testifies that this life is to be found in him. Now the method of obtaining life is, to become new creatures. He declares, that we ought not to seek it anywhere else, and, at the same time, reminds us, that he is the way, by which alone we can arrive at it. That he may not fail us in any respect, he stretches out the hand to those who are going astray, and stoops so low as to guide sucking infants. Presenting himself as a leader, he does not leave his people in the middle of the course, but makes them partakers of the truth. At length he makes them enjoy the fruit of it, which is the most excellent and delightful thing that can be imagined.

    As Christ is the way, the weak and ignorant have no reason to complain that they are forsaken by him; and as he is the truth and the life, he has in himself also what is fitted to satisfy the most perfect. In short, Christ now affirms, concerning happiness, what I have lately said concerning the object of faith. All believe and acknowledge that the happiness of man lies in God alone: but they afterwards go wrong in this respect, that, seeking God elsewhere than in Christ, they tear him — so to speak — from his true and solid Dignity.

    The truth is supposed by some to denote here the saving light of heavenly wisdom, and by others to denote the substance of life and of all spiritual blessings, which is contrasted with shadows and figures; as it is said, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, (John 1:17.) My opinion is, that the truth means here the perfection of faith as the way means its beginning and first elements. The whole may be summed up thus: “If any man turn aside from Christ, he will do nothing but go astray; if any man do not rest on him, he will feed elsewhere on nothing but wind and vanity; if any man, not satisfied with him alone, wishes to go farther, (63) he will find death instead of life.”

    No man cometh to the Father. This is an explanation of the former statement’, for he is the way, because he leads us to the Father, and he is the truth andthe life, because in him we perceive the Father. As to calling on God, it may indeed be said, with truth, that no prayers are heard but through the intercession of Christ; but as Christ does not now speak about prayer, we ought simply to understand the meaning to be, that men contrive for themselves true labyrinths, whenever, after having forsaken Christ, they attempt to come to God. For Christ proves that he is the life, because God, with whom is the fountain of life, (Psalms 36:9,) cannot be enjoyed in any other way than in Christ. Wherefore all theology, when separated from Christ, is not only vain and confused, but is also mad, deceitful, and spurious; for, though the philosophers sometimes utter excellent sayings, yet they have nothing but what is short-lived, and even mixed up with wicked and erroneous sentiments.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 14:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.