“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
I’ll do a three-part series that focuses on Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The first in the series will look at Christ as the Way. I hope you enjoy!
It is peculiar and curious when thinking of the phrase, the way. A couple of things come to mind – for instance, a method, style or manner of doing something. Like the way I squeeze my toothpaste tube in the center and not at the end. I know some of you might stop reading after this point, but at least I brush my teeth most days. The other thing is a route, road, path, or street to travel on to get to your destination. I usually prefer country back roads, because they are less traveled than the interstate, and I’m impatient with others on the road. The part that makes this phrase peculiar and curious is that Jesus called himself The Way. How can a person be the way? You can look at this phrase at many different angles, but there is one I want to focus on now.
Those in Christ are a new creation, a new humanity. This new humanity is not our humanity all patched up and fixed, so it can operate better. It is an entirely new species of humanity never before seen in heaven or on earth, except in Jesus Christ. This new humanity has the capacity to participate with divine life. It has new sets of faculties to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell divine life. It has new instincts to recognize and respond to divine life. It has all the necessary equipment to know, express, and live by another life. This new humanity is Christ himself. While walking the earth, Jesus shows THE WAY to live by divine life that’s clothed in this new humanity. He displays to heaven and earth, and to the powers and principalities, what divine life will look like when expressed through redeemed humanity. He’s humanity as God intended. So the way Christ wants to express his life is through a new redeemed humanity. When he was walking on this earth, and still continues today, he show us the way to walk in this new humanity, His humanity. He shows us how to use the new equipment we’ve been given.
So what was Jesus doing during the first 30 years of his life? He was learning to operate within this new humanity, navigating the ins and outs of being human. The life of his Father was within him, so he was learning to fine tune his senses and instincts to recognize and respond to his Father’s life in the confines of this new humanity. Jesus had within his power the ability to do whatever he wanted with His divinity. He was on earth for 33 years, so he could have “fixed” everything by alleviating all human suffering. Can you image what it must have been like for him to see all the sickness, suffering, starvation, death, injustice, poverty and not be able to release his divine power to fix everything? Even in his own family he could not change or alter his circumstances. He was the son of a poor carpenter who for at least 30 years lived in the poor town of Nazareth. Part of this fine tuning required him to relinquish his rights to release divine life as he saw fit. How did Jesus allow this divine life, the life of the Father, to be seen through His humanity? The WAY he did it was to lower, deny, and lose himself. He learned to choose to only release divine life when, where, how, and on who the Father wanted it released. His 30 yrs of training was tested all throughout his life on earth; was he going to do what he thought was right or what the Father wanted? You can see that divine life was mainly released in the last 3 years of his life, and it was only released to reveal and glorify the Father.
So what does this mean for us? One, it is only this new humanity that has the necessary equipment to live by another life that is not it’s own. Second, this new humanity is able to achieve a life of denying its right, lowering itself, and losing everything; why? Because this new humanity is none other than Christ Himself. He is the way, because he is the New Humanity, and he knows the way to lower Himself to express the divine life. Christ, the way, is inside us and we are in Him. He teaches us how to live by his life the way He was taught by His Father. He teaches us the way to recognize and respond to Him and the way to release his life. What a glorious privilege!