PASSAGE: "Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’" (John 14:5-6 NRSV).
COMMENT: Properly understood, this is one of the most important and powerful of Jesus' teachings to his disciples in the farewell discourse and prayer that comprise Chapters 13:31 through 17:26 in the Gospel of John. When it is misunderstood, however, it can seem divisive and judgmental—two qualities that ought never be associated with the ministry of Jesus.
In this final discourse, delivered on the eve of his arrest and trial, Jesus is speaking fully as the Christ—the Presence of God innate in each and all of us. He has so fully succeeded in expressing his own Christ Power that it has become indistinguishable from his human identity. He is no longer Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus Christ. He is assuring his disciples throughout the discourse that they can, and must, accomplish the same Oneness. It is as the Christ that he is speaking; and it is the Christ that he is describing as the only path to God. We may try to reach God by placing our idea of God somewhere in the heavens and then striving to reach that idea. It won't work. The path to rediscovering, reaffirming, re-expressing our Oneness with God lies within—by recognizing, believing and expressing our own Christ Nature. We must turn within and find the Christ—because there is no other way to accomplish our spiritual purpose.
To believe that Jesus was speaking of his mortal self, that he was claiming a unique power to decide who does and does not deserve entry into divine consciousness, is to misunderstand his entire ministry and message, and to ignore his most important teaching: The only path to God is through believing our Oneness with God and expressing the Love of God at every opportunity.