‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ – John 14.6From Dave Atkinson:
One of my favourite family songs that we sing at St Pat’s is “You won’t get to Heaven on the back of a camel.” It’s fun and it has great actions. But, more importantly, in the third verse in particular, it dismisses several ways that we might think will secure us a place in heaven. It then goes on to emphasize that Jesus is the only way.
Heaven is God’s house, where God is. And we can only be there (now and for eternity) if our relationship with God, broken because of our sin, is healed. As the song says, knowing a Christian, even a close relative, or going to church, or thinking we are good (perhaps comparing ourselves to those who make us look good, rather than comparing ourselves with God), or just labelling ourselves as
a Christians – none of these will reconcile us to God – none of these will gain us a place in Heaven.
In the verses before John 14.6 Jesus, talking to his disciples, gives a beautiful picture of rooms in heaven being prepared for those who know God. Knowing God is another way for describing a deep and committed personal relationship with God the Father. This is deeper than, for instance, knowing there is a God, or knowing about God. And Jesus makes it clear that he, Jesus, is the only way into that relationship – “No one comes to the Father except through me.”
What does Jesus mean? He means that to know God the Father, we need to know Jesus – in a committed personal relationship. That means admitting that we are not good and that Jesus is the only way that we can avoid the penalty of eternal separation from God that we deserve. It means looking to Jesus on the cross, where Jesus paid for our sins, and believing that Jesus’ death there is the only way we can be rescued; where, by God’s mercy, we are forgiven. It means trusting Jesus and not looking to anything or anyone else to save us.
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you that you tell us clearly that you are the only way to the Father. I believe that your death and resurrection is the only way to be saved into an eternal relationship with God the Father. Jesus, I put my trust completely in you and not in anyone or anything else. Amen