Jesus Is The Way

Bible Book: John  14 : 6
Subject: Jesus, The Way

The primary purpose of the Bible is to present Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who was miraculously born of a virgin, lived the only sinless life that has ever graced this globe, died a substitutionary death on the cross, rose triumphantly from the grave on the third day, and--as Hebrews 7:25 expresses it--”ever liveth to make intercession for them”--that is, for those “that come unto God by him.”

One of the great statements that Jesus made regarding himself and his purpose for coming into the world is found in 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.” I want to focus on just one part of that verse: Jesus said, “I am the way....”

I realize that Jesus was making that statement in a specific connection, in response to a question from Thomas; but in light of who Jesus was and is, and in light of all that the Bible teaches us about him, it is also legitimate to apply that statement in other connections as well. I want to emphasize three applications of Christ’s statement, “I am the way.”


That is, he is the way out of sin’s condemnation, bondage, and misery.

In John 8:34 Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” The Greek word translated “committeth” in that verse is a term denoting continuous action. Thus, even though we’re all sinners, Jesus was speaking there of the person whose life is dominated by sin--in other words, the person who has not been born again. Jesus was saying that such a person is a servant--literally, a slave--of sin. Not only is he bound for eternal hell when this life is over, but in the “here and now” he is a captive of his sinful nature. But when he meets God’s two conditions set forth in Acts 20:21, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” he receives God’s gift of eternal life and is miraculously set free from that miserable captivity.

I have a friend who was once a drug addict, and also a pusher. His life was an absolute wreck. He tried and tried to kick his drug habit, but would go right back into the same old destructive lifestyle. For years he was under psychiatric care, but that didn’t work. He tried rehab, but to no avail. He made countless promises to himself, to family and to friends that he would stop, but didn’t follow through. Nothing seemed to help. Finally, in desperation, and with tears, he fell on his face before God and said, “Please help me.” He asked Jesus to come into his life, and his testimony is that at that very moment he was set free from his drug habit. He’s been clean for almost nineteen years now, and is an outstanding man of God. No telling how many people he has personally led to Christ. He has found from personal experience the truth of what Jesus said in John 8:36: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” After having tried nearly everything else, he found Jesus to be the way out of his bondage.

Jesus is not only the way out of destructive actions, but also he sets us free from poisonous attitudes. Josh McDowell, now in his 70s, is one of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith of our lifetime. He has spoken to hundreds of thousands of students on college and university campuses all over the nation. He has effectively debated atheistic professors in those schools in public forums, and is responsible for pointing multitudes to the Lord. I recently read his personal testimony. During his second year as a university student he was converted from a life of cynicism and unbelief. He tells of how God delivered him from some terrible habits that had enslaved him.

For one thing, until his conversion he had an uncontrollable temper. He said that he still bears the scars of a fight he had in which he almost killed a man. But God, by his power, set him free from those awful fits of rage, and gave him control over his temper.

Another of the horrific, down-dragging sins in his life was the sin of hatred. Here is an excerpt from his testimony, given in his book entitled “More Than A Carpenter”:

I hated one man more than anyone else in the world--my father. I hated his guts. I was mortified that he was the town alcoholic. If you’re from a small town and one of your parents is an alcoholic, you know what I mean. Everybody knows. My high school friends would make jokes about my father’s drinking. They didn’t think it bothered me because I fell in with the joking and laughed with them. I was laughing on the outside, but let me tell you, I was crying on the inside. I would go to the barn and find my mother beaten so badly she couldn’t get up, lying in the manure behind the cows. When we had friends over, I would take my father out to the barn, tie him up, and park his car behind the silo. We would tell our guests he’d had to go somewhere. I don’t think anyone could hate a person more than I hated my father.

About five months after I made that decision for Christ, a love from God entered my life so powerfully that it took that hatred, turned it upside down, and emptied it out. I was able to look my father squarely in the eyes and say, “Dad, I love you.” And I really meant it. After some of the things I’d done to him, that really shook him up.

Months later his dad said, “Son, if God can do in my life what I’ve seen him do in yours, then I want to give him the opportunity, I want to trust him as my Savior and Lord.” Josh said, “I cannot imagine a greater miracle. But the life of my father changed right before my eyes. It was as if God reached down and flipped on the light switch. Never before or since have I seen such a dramatic change. My father touched an alcoholic beverage only once after that day. He got it as far as his lips before thrusting it away. Forever, I can come to only one conclusion: A relationship with Jesus Christ changes lives.”

Someone says, “But, preacher, I’m already a Christian--yet a terrible sin has crept into my life, and I can’t to shake it. Is there any help for me?” Thank the Lord, there is. In your case, you come to God not as an alien, but as an erring child to a loving Father. Don’t alibi, don’t try to minimize your sin, and don’t try to pass the buck. Just come clean with God. Confess honestly where you’ve “let up” so as to allow that sinful habit to creep into your life. Whatever the areas of slackness that caused it, and whatever the sin that has resulted from that slackness--whether a sin of overt action, attitude, or words, or some sin of omission--repent, ask his forgiveness, and commit yourself afresh to putting him first in your life, and he’ll help you to make that new start that you yearn for.

Jesus can bring you out of whatever sin has enslaved you--drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, an unGodly attitude, such as bitterness, jealousy, lust, or an unwillingness to forgive.

His power can make you what you ought to be;

His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;

His love can fill your soul, and you will see

’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.


In reference to God having delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, here’s what Moses said in Deuteronomy 6:23: “And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.”

He brought the Hebrews OUT of their tragic life in Egypt that he might bring them IN to the land of promise--and in like manner, when you surrender your life to him Jesus brings you out of sin’s bondage and misery, and he brings you IN to a new life--a life with wonderful possibilities, and with power available to help you realize those possibilities.

Out of my sorrow, bondage, and night,

Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;

Into thy freedom, gladness, and light,

Jesus, I come to thee.

Some people hesitate to give their all to Jesus because they don’t understand what the Christian life is all about. They imagine that living for Christ would be dull and drab. Somehow they’ve acquired the fallacious notion that God is some kind of cosmic kill-joy, just waiting to zap anybody who threatens to have a good time. No!--a thousand times no! Jesus said, in John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Jesus wants you to experience life at its highest and best.

When you surrender your life to Christ, he gives you a new destiny--a home in heaven, rather than hell. He also gives you a new sense of direction--a new set of “want to’s”--and he gives you a new dynamic in your life, namely the indwelling Holy Spirit, to motivate and energize you as you move in that new direction. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be perfect, by any stretch of the imagination--Jesus was the only perfect individual who ever walked the earth. But it does mean that when you truly repent and commit your life in faith to Christ, he forgives your sins and cleans you up. He lifts your life to a new level, and starts you on a new path.

The problem, however, in many of our lives as believers is similar, in principle, to the problem that God pointed out to the Israelites after Joshua had led them into the promised land. They had defeated certain of the heathen tribes and had made considerable headway into the territory. However, God said to Joshua, “...there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed” (Joshua 13:1).

Many of us have entered into the “promised land” of the Christian life, yet following that initial “invasion” we haven’t exercised the daily disciplines that are essential for acquiring more territory. We haven’t made the spiritual advances that God intends for us. We’ve been born again and have the assurance of heaven, but we’re not enjoying the full measure of victory down here that could be ours.

And here’s the reason: While works have nothing to do with the new birth, spiritual growth is an altogether different matter. God, by his grace, enables us to gain a greater degree of spiritual victory in our daily lives only to the extent that we cooperate with him by daily disciplining ourselves to pray, to study his Word, to be faithful in attending church, and using our talents to serve, and by sharing our faith with others.

So the great need is many of our lives is to rededicate ourselves to those spiritual disciplines, in order that we might grow, and be able to say with the song writer:

I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day;

Still praying as I onward bound, “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

When you were converted, he brought you in...but now let him bring you further in.


We who have received Christ as Savior are not exempt from life’s reverses and tribulations; we’re not spared from the disappointments, the heartaches, and the tears--but here’s the big difference: as believers, the Lord is with us in those trials. In Hebrews 13:5 the Lord says to believers, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” If you’re a Christian, you never walk alone.

Indeed, the author of Psalm 23:4 went so far as to say, “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me....thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” In Romans 8, after recounting a long litany of woes and troubles that can happen to a person in this life, Paul said, in verse 37, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Connie and I have some friends in a distant state who were devastated a few years ago to learn that their adult son is a homosexual. They are devout Christians, and they pled with him to realize that according to the Bible homosexuality and lesbianism are abominable sins. They tried to help him understand that God loves him right where he is, but loves him too much to leave him there. But he refused to listen. They’ve spent many hours praying for their son, and weeping over him. But by God’s grace they have reached the point where they’ve simply turned him over to the Lord. While they strongly disapprove of his lifestyle and make no bones about that, they love him, stay in touch with him, pray for him, and witness to him without badgering him. They live in hope that he will come out of that bondage. But in the meantime, they realize that life must go on. By God’s grace, they’ve won the victory over despair--and they have become encouragers to other parents who are dealing with that same heartbreaking problem. These two friends of ours have found Jesus to be the way through this ordeal. They’re still going through it--but day by day he gives them strength to keep on keeping on, and not to give up or give in, and not to forget that as long as there is life there is hope.

I’m thinking right now of two other Christian friends of ours, who have encountered an enormous amount of sorrow in their lives, yet have remained faithful to God and have been an inspiration to others. One of their sons, while a tiny infant in the hospital where he was born, experienced some kind of unusual mishap in the incubator and was permanently blinded. Years later an adult daughter of theirs, a lovely, caring young Christian, with a promising future, was driving along the road one day not all that far from home when she saw a man walking. She recognized him as someone she and her family knew and trusted, and asked him if he would like a ride. He forced her off the road into a secluded area, raped her, and then as she tried to escape brutally murdered her.

As you can well imagine, those parents went through indescribable agony, but they made themselves stay busy, they remained faithful in church, poured themselves into serving others, read their Bible and prayed, and by the grace of God they not only survived that horrifying ordeal, but have refused to become embittered--by the merciful help of God they have maintained a sweet, positive spirit.

As time went on, the wife experienced one health crisis after another. Actually, they’ve both had health problems, but hers have been especially critical. She has had heart attacks, strokes, and numerous other problems. For a long time she was on dialysis three times a week, which left her drained, along with her other infirmities. Yet this precious lady has maintained one of the sweetest attitudes of anyone I’ve ever known, and so has her husband. They have experienced one heartbreak after another, yet they’ve refused to withdraw from life, they’ve refused to dwell in the valley of despair, they’ve refused to become obsessed with their losses, and they’ve stayed close to the Lord. They’ve found from personal experience that Jesus is the way through life’s hard times. Both of them have been a blessing to all of who know them--and when this dear lady died recently she went down with all flags flying.

Are you dealing with some difficulty that’s about to tear you apart?--and you don’t see how you can possibly handle it? Turn your life totally over to Jesus Christ, and you’ll see that he is the way through. In John 16:33 Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Some through the waters, some through the flood,

Some through the fire, but all through the blood;

Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song;

He leads his dear children along.


A missionary to Africa decided to go and preach to the people of a remote village. Because he had never been there before, he was accompanied by a big, strapping native guide who was born and raised in that region. No sooner had they begun their journey than they came to a section of jungle where the vines and undergrowth were so thick that it appeared they could go no further. The missionary said to his native guide, “Do you know a way through all of this?” The native guide drew himself to full height, took from its sheath his large, razor-sharp machete with which he would cut away the vines and undergrowth, and as he smiled reassuringly, he said, “Sir, I AM the way!”

In like manner, Jesus is the way for you and me. He’s the way out, the way in, and the way through. But he can only be all of that to us if we totally surrender ourselves to him--and there’s the holdup in so many of our lives. We consider ourselves to have surrendered to Christ, when in reality we’re holding back in certain areas, and so long as that’s the case we’ll never have the degree of victory that God wants us to have. There’s an old spiritual which contains this oft-repeated refrain: “The Lord’s gotta have 100 percent; 99 1/2 won’t do!”

Are you willing this morning to say to Christ, and mean it: “Lord, whatever might have been the case in the past, as of this very moment, right now, I’m turning myself, my family, my possessions, my problems, my hopes and dreams, my present and my future over to you”?