Thomas’s point: you cannot know the route if you do not know the destination. But he is wrong. Even though he and the other disciples do not yet know Jesus’ destination, they do know the way there even though they don’t know that they know it. They know the way there because they know Jesus; and he is the way.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
ESV (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), John 14:1–7
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Jesus does not satisfy Thomas’s curiosity about Jesus’ destination. Not yet. For now, it’s enough to identify himself as the way that Thomas mistakenly thought he and the others couldn’t know without knowing Jesus’ destination.
But Jesus doesn’t stop with his self-identification as “the way.” He adds “the truth” and “the life” to prepare for the revelation of his destination as the destination of the disciples too. That destination will turn out to be the Father. Jesus is the way to the Father because he himself is the truth about the Father.
And Jesus is the life because the truth about the Father brings eternal life to those who believe. Jesus continues, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” So, Jesus is not just the way. He is the only way. And those who take this way will find themselves at the destination that is his destination. They’ll go to the Father just as he will have gone to the Father.
- John 1:14 — 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
- John 15:1 — 1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
- John 18:37–38 — 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him.
- 1 John 5:20 — 20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus the Messiah. This is the true God and eternal life.
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Source: Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 430.
Frank Hubeny said:
Good point: “They know the way there because they know Jesus; and he is the way.”
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Jesus is the Messiah!!!
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