Partly because of the scientific method and partly because of people we now have a society that is suspicious of all truth claims. We are especially suspicious of clams that go something like, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the father but through me.” Yes, red flags go up. Even though Jesus said it and really, we are more suspicious of people who follow Jesus then Jesus himself, it is still a claim of truth. How do we prove that Jesus is truth?
We don’t. I can’t.
I do decently well at convincing people of this, but I can’t prove it. Over the years so many have claimed to possess the truth and they have done irreparable harm by doing so. But is truth something that we can possess? Or is truth someone we can know?
The scientific method proves things in science that are useful, but God refused to be used. In fact God refuses to be proved. Why do you think God was so serious about not making images of him or being seen? Why do you think Jesus came slightly before Polaroid invented the instant camera? (Yes slightly, our world is 13.7 billion years old) Faith is such a key component in Christianity precisely because God refuses to be proved. His refusing to be proved shows his deep love and passion for his people, but that is another article entirely!
So Jesus claims to be the way, the truth and the life. I can’t prove it but I believe it and for me this is truth. It is truth that is not proved but revealed in the person of Jesus. We look at statements like, “I am the way” and we might immediately think of the offensiveness of this statement. Because if Jesus is the way, singular then how can someone who has another set of beliefs be saved? Isn’t this exclusive? I think exclusivity would be if there was no way provided, but God in his radical inclusively provided his son as the way. So maybe instead of being offended we should investigate if this is really the way.
So many things have made us wary of truth claims. Part of it is the western belief that everything needs empirical and irrefutable evidence. Part of it is people who claim to have the truth and subsequently become oppressors. Stalin claimed to have truth; he was going to make a utopia. Hitler was going to solve the problems of Germany, he was going to make a pure Arian race, he even had a final solution and he even claimed that he had truth on his side.
But what if truth is personal? What if truth is not objective? What if all truth is simply contained in a person? That person was God and earth and he wants to reveal truth to us but it’s not something we can own, it’s just something that we can know. Maybe this is why God wants his people to tell the truth, because he is the truth and when we tell it we reflect him.
Unfortunately this isn’t a simple subject. But if Jesus is the truth that contains eternal life, wouldn’t it make sense that he is also the way?
May you walk in the way of Jesus an know his truth and begin to find life that is really life.
**A friend of mine who is a scholar and a missionary has been doing a lot of work on this subject and I am grateful to him for stretching me on all of this. Much of my thinking on this has come from emails and conversations that my friend, Phil Davis and I have had.Share