5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
When Jesus indicated that He was going away and coming back again Thomas may have thought in material terms. He did not know where Jesus was going. He may have supposed that He “was going to another location on earth?”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going,
Thomas did not know the specific destination of where Jesus was going. He was perplexed about what Jesus meant. Although he questioned Jesus, his underlining devotion to Jesus is clearly seen by addressing Jesus as “Lord.”
and how can we know the way?”
Jesus answers Thomas’ question in the next verse. He did not upbraid Thomas for his questioning. He may have been in despair over Jesus’ words.
Jesus said to him, “I am
This is sixth of the great “I am” statements of the gospel of John (Jn 6:48; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 11:25; 15:1). The emphasis is on the “I.” Jesus does not merely show the way, speak of the truth or give life but He IS the way, the truth and the life. Ultimately, God saves us not only by an action but by a Person. Salvation involves personal relationship to Jesus.
the way [road],
Jesus describes Himself by three corresponding terms; they are co-ordinate to each other.
Note the definite article “the” before each of the words “way,” “truth” and “life.” These three “the”s are not accidental. Jesus was no nice alternative to other gods. He was not a way among other ways. He was and is uniquely the access to heaven.
Jesus encompasses all that we need for and in eternity.
All three claims of Jesus are absolute; no one else could substitute for Jesus. It is not possible to add anyone or any system to who and what He is. Any message that adds to Christ alone is not biblical.
Jesus did not merely claim that He knew the way, truth and life. He asserted that He was all three of those things. There is no bridge to heaven other than Him, other than His payment for our sin. Truth is embraced in everything that Jesus is. He is veracity. Jesus is also eternal life. There is a new dynamic to living for the believer (Jn 1:4). Every Christian has divine vitality but in heaven we will have perfect eternal life. All of this is encompassed in the person and work of Jesus.
All three descriptions of Christ are dynamic. The “way” brings us to God; the “truth” sets men free; the “life” provides eternal fellowship with God. Without Jesus as the way, there is no going to heaven; without Jesus as the truth, there is no complete knowledge of God; without Jesus as the life, there is no experience of eternal life.