The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Title: The Way, The Truth, And The Life

Bible Book: John 14 : 6

Author: J. Gerald Harris

Subject: Jesus, the Way; Jesus, the Life; Jesus, the Truth



In my hand I have a tract that was given to me by Greg Brezina. In this tract Greg Brezina tells how he came to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Greg Brezina played football for the Atlanta Falcons. He was on the Falcons team in 1978 when they played Philadelphia in the first round of the NFC playoffs. Greg Brezina was paid to tackle running backs and block kicks. Mike Michel played football for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was paid to kick extra points and field goals. In this playoff game in 1978, two seconds were remaining in the game. Atlanta was ahead 14 to 13, but Philadelphia had the ball. They decided to go for a field goal. If the ball goes through the uprights, Philadelphia wins the game. The signal is called. The teams are in position. The ball is snapped.

The ball is down. The kick is made -- but it veers to the left -- wide of the goal. The Falcons players leap for joy -- screaming at the top of their voices -- joined by the jeering throngs in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. But the kicker who had failed hunched forward on the ground as though he was an animal. Then Greg Brezina, the linebacker of the opposing team, came over and knelt down beside Mike Michel, the place kicker who had failed to make the kick. And Brezina said, "Mike, what I am about to say to you may not make any sense, but it doesn't really matter whether you made it or not." And then Brezina said, "What matters far more is that you have peace in your heart which comes from Jesus Christ." That has to be one of the most unusual sports items I have ever heard about -- and I've followed sports all of my life. But as I recall, it made every sports page in America -- the linebacker from the winning team kneeling quietly beside the man in abject failure, and saying, "It really doesn't matter whether you made the kick or missed it." "Mike Michel, have you ever felt as badly?" "Never in my life!" "Couldn't you just kill yourself for missing that kick?" "Yeah." "How are you going to explain it to the other men, and to the wives who would have come into $12, $15, maybe even $20 thousand apiece for winning one game?" And an opponent kneels beside him and says, "What I am about to say to you may not make any sense, but it really doesn't make any difference whether you made the kick or missed it. What matters far more is whether you have peace in your heart which comes from Jesus Christ."

So, Jesus Christ is the important thing. If your life is spaced out, strung out, at wit's end, He can take the broken fragments of your life and piece it all together. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. Let's break that down and look at it for a moment.

I. Jesus is the Way

There are many ways that you may go. There are many paths that you may travel in this life. Consider some of the paths that were chosen by some of the personalities in the Bible. Amon was one of the kings of Judah. The Bible says in II Kings 21:22, "And he forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the Lord." In I Kings 15:25 the Bible speaks of Nadab's reign over Israel. And it says, "And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin." In I Kings 15:33 it speaks of the reign of Baasha over Israel, and it says, "And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin." In II Kings 8:18 it speaks of the reign of Joram, and it says, "And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel...and he did evil in the sight of the Lord." In II Kings 8:26 it speaks of the reign of king Ahaziah, and it says in verse 27 that "he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord." We could go on and on talking about those who walked in the way of sin and destruction. In Proverbs 2:13 the Bible speaks of those who "walk in the ways of darkness." In Proverbs 4:14 the Bible says, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men." In Isaiah 53:6 the Bible says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way." In Proverbs 14:12 the Bible says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Now, I want to talk to the boys and girls for just a moment, because this is Children's Day. You know what I found out? When I talk to boys and girls, parents listen better; adults listen better. And I want all of you to hear this. Boys and girls, you're going to hear a lot of voices in the years ahead. The devil is going to say, "This is the way, walk with me." The drug culture is going to say, "This is the way, walk with us." The cults (the Moonies, the Children of God, the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Society for Krishna Consciousness, the New Agers) are going to say, "This is the way, walk with us." The exploiters of sex, the get-rich-quick schemers -- the world, the flesh, and the devil -- they all have their allurements. They're going to say, "This is the way, walk with us." I mean, sometimes life gets like a maze. Do you know what a maze is? It is a confusing, intricate network of winding pathways. And you can get trapped in those things.

In Panama City Beach there is a place called The Human Maze. There is a miniature golf course there, and there is this maze. And in this maze there are scores of pathways. And once you enter into this maze, you are hemmed in by high fences. And there are countless options. You can go right or left, or left or right. You could wander around in that thing for hours. We took some young people there several years ago for youth camp, and some of them paid to go through this maze. It was July and it was hot. And down in that maze there was no breeze, no circulation. And this one little girl was in the maze for well over an hour. Everyone else had gone through that maze and somehow had managed to find their way out. The others were playing miniature golf. Some were riding on go-carts. Others were having refreshments at the concession stand. This fourteen-year-old girl was still in the maze. At last we saw her as she came running up to the pavilion with perspiration dripping off her face. I said, "Jennifer, what happened to you?" She said, "I got lost in that stupid maze." I said, "Well, how did you get out?" She said, "One of the employees came walking through that maze and asked me if I was lost, and I said yes. And he said, 'Follow me,' and I did. And he took a turn this way, and a turn that way, and a turn that way, and a turn this way, and there we were outside." Do you know what made the difference for Jennifer? She decided to quit trying and give up on her own efforts, admit that she was lost, and trusted and followed the one who knew the way. How can I be saved? I must admit I am lost, cease from my own efforts, and receive into my life the One who said, "I am the way." When I know Him, I know the way.

A pioneer missionary in Africa tells how he was taking the gospel to a new tribe far to the north. With his porters he arrived at a village, a point beyond which they refused to go. The missionary appealed to the local chief. Was there someone in his village who could act as his guide to the distant northern tribe? The chief summoned a man, tall, battle-scarred, carrying a large ax. A bargain was made and the next morning the missionary set off through the bush following his new guide. The way became increasingly rough and the path had all but disappeared. There was an occasional mark blazed on a tree; occasionally a narrow path. Finally, the missionary called a halt. He asked the guide if he was sure he knew the way. The man pulled himself up to his full height, "White man," he said, "you see this ax in my hand? You see these scars on my body? With this ax I blazed the trail to this tribal village to which we are going. I came from there. These scars, I received when I made the way. You ask me if I know the way. Before I came, there was no way. I am the way."

As we look at our text, we know that Jesus came from glory. He was about to go back to glory by way of the cross. Before He came there was no way. The scars of Calvary on His body attests to the price He paid to blaze that trail for us back to God. He points to His scars, and He says, "I am the way." Jesus is the way to peace. He is the way to pardon. He is the way to power. He is the way to purposeful living. He is the way to hope. He is the way to happiness. He is the way to heaven. He is the way to growth. He is the way to glory. He is the way to God.

II. Jesus is the Truth

Proverbs 4:19 says, "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." But in Jesus Christ there is the truth that opens up new vistas of beauty and understanding. The Bible refers to Christ as the One "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). In writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul referred to Jesus Christ as "the power of God and the wisdom of God." To know Him is to know the truth. You see, truth is not found in a philosophy, but in the person of Jesus Christ. Truth is not found in a system of religion, but in Jesus Christ. Truth is not found in a moral code, but in Jesus Christ. You say, "Preacher, that sounds awfully narrow." But quite honestly, truth is narrow.

Did you know that I had a teacher in high school that was the most dogmatic, narrow-minded person I have ever met? Her name was Eleanor Brevard. She absolutely insisted that two plus two equals four. It didn't make any difference what you had two of, apples or apricots, donkeys or dune buggies; she always insisted that two plus two equals four. She was dogmatic. You know, I have found that the bank where I do business operates on the same principle. Only in my case, it's two minus two equals zero. They're dogmatic about it. Friends, let me say to you that one of the characteristics of truth is its dogmatism. The young child in school soon learns that there is an absolute truth in spelling, and that C-A-T spells cat, regardless of how often he may spell it K-A-T, it is always wrong. The chemistry student in high school learns that H2SO4 is the absolutely true symbol for the chemical expression of sulfuric acid. Regardless of how often he writes it as NACL2 or KCL, it is always wrong. The history student determines that it is an absolute historical truth that Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March 44 BC. Consequently, it is absolutely incorrect to answer on an examination that he died of a coronary thrombosis on March 16, 45 BC.

Now, if we're willing to accept absolute truths in other areas of life, it is incredible that we would -- any of us -- ever consider being less dogmatic regarding absolute spiritual truth, particularly when it involves pointing men to the correct way of God. Many men have told us the truth, but no man ever embodied the truth until Jesus Christ came into this world. There is one all-important truth about moral truth. The character of the man who teaches academic or scientific truth does not affect his message very much. A man's character does not really affect his teaching of geometry or sociology   or Spanish verbs. But if a man teaches moral truth, his character makes all the difference in the world. A selfish person who teaches the value of generosity; an adulterer who teaches the necessity of purity; an egotistical person who teaches the beauty of humility; an embittered person who   teaches the beauty of love is bound to be ineffective. Moral truth cannot be conveyed solely in words.   It must be conveyed in example. And that is precisely where the greatest human teacher falls down. No teacher has ever completely embodied the truth he taught -- except Jesus. Many a man could say, "I have taught you the truth." Only Jesus could say, "I am the truth."

III. Jesus is the Life

You see, without Christ men are dead in trespasses and sins. But the Bible says in John 5:24, "The one who believes in Christ has passed out of death into life." Jesus said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." You see, Jesus is not just a physician who came to invigorate the old nature or refine its grossness or repair its defects. But He came to bring about a regeneration, a new life.

You know, we cannot go anywhere without finding living things. Heaven is full of life, for the angels live there. The world is full of life. Everywhere you go, you find people living. If you go into the fields of the country, to the ponds and the rivers, or the oceans, even far down into the lowest depths of the ocean, you will find something living. The air is full of life. It is Jesus who gives life to all these things. The reason He is called "the life" is because He gives life to souls that are dead in trespasses and sins and makes it possible for them to live forever. You know, isn't it great to be "fully alive?" You see, I can move my arms. I can use my legs and my feet and my hands. I can see. I can hear. I can feel. I mean, it's great to be alive, especially when you are alive and have no part of you dead. You say, "Preacher, what do you mean? Whoever heard of such as thing as being part alive and part dead?" Well, let me tell you something. There was a time when the best part of me was quite dead. What made it still worse was that I didn't know it. You say, "Well, preacher, what part of you was dead?" My soul was dead toward God. When God spoke to me, I didn't hear His voice. When He called me to look to Him, I couldn't see Him. When He told me to love Him, I didn't do it. You say, "Preacher, how did it ever come alive?" Well, Jesus did it for me. He sent His blessed Holy Spirit into my heart to show me that my soul was dead and that I never could be happy and never go to heaven unless my soul was made alive. And so I prayed to Him, and He heard me. And ever since, Jesus has made me fully alive. And, you know, I acquired this new life when I was a child -- nine years of age.


Today is Children's Day, and I'm so glad that we're observing this day, because children have hearts that are sensitive to God. And I pray that today we'll have some boys and girls who will find new life in Jesus Christ. And for those of you who are older, if you've not yet received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, perhaps this will be your day of commitment. Perhaps this will be your day of decision. And, you know something, you've got to come as a little child. Forget your accumulation of material things. Forget your diplomas that you've earned at institutions of higher learning. Forget your years of experience in the school of hard knocks. Forget all of the excuses that you've been using for many years. Forget your pride and self-righteousness. And remember that Jesus said, "Except you come as a little child, you cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven." We're going to conclude this message with a visual sermon. And I want to ask you to look at it prayerfully through the eyes of a little child.

Posted in


Scroll to Top