Jesus Is the Way, Because He Is the Son
We move to that part of the passage which tells us in definitive language who the Son is and his relationship to the Father. In fact, the person and identity of the Son is completely bound up in the person and identity of the Father. We are to understand that one cannot be known without the other. The Son is sent by the Father to reveal the Father’s will and ways, but the Son is only able to reveal the Father’s will and ways because he is like Him in every way. Thus, in revealing the Father to us, the Son reveals himself as well as the only-begotten Son of the Father: Their wills, ways, and desires, are one.
Jesus tells the disciples that they know where he is going. This prompts a question from Thomas who confesses that he neither knows where Jesus is going nor knows the way. Jesus’ response to Thomas, the disciples, and his Church is definitive, unqualified, and unambiguous: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other way to understand these words but as direct statement from Jesus himself about his unique person as he is related to the Father: He is the Father’s only Son, and so is the only way to the Father. The Son is preeminent over all as the Father created all things through the Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-20), gave life to all things through the Son, (John 1:4), and established all truth through the Son who is in himself full of grace and truth (John 1:14, 17). Because of all of this, he is the way, the only way, to the Father, for in his revealing the Father to us, he reveals the way of salvation as well. To know the Son is to know the Father is to be born again: Revelation of the Father through the Son leads to salvation through the Son unto the Father. And the conversation moves on in the same way as Philip then says, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Again, Jesus’ words are unequivocal: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Everything Jesus said and did was what the Father said and did, the Father working through him as he is in the Father and the Father in him.
There is simply no way to parse these words in any other sense except that Jesus is the only way to the Father, to heaven. All other paths are closed. To say so is not mean-spirited; it is the truth we have from God. If one wants to believe otherwise, he may do so, but not by claiming Christ for a witness. The Lord has spoken. He says, “My Son is the way to Me.” And God has all authority to say so. The world naturally finds this offensive; the believer embraces it as revealed truth, and ponders, “Why me?”