Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
Jesus, in John 14:6
You do not really know the truth unless you are the truth. The truth is not a thing; it is a person, and you must have fellowship with him in order to know him. The truth on earth was the Son of God, while he was here. Now the truth on earth is other sons of God who are here. Nor is the light a thing; it is a person. If you are not in him who is the light, you do not know him who is the light. He was the light of the world as long as he was in the world (Jn. 9:5); now, those in whom he lives are the light of the world. The Word of God is not a thing; it is the Son of God, and he is alive. He took on flesh when he took on the body of Jesus of Nazareth, as John wrote, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” And he still comes and takes up residence in the hearts of those who believe in him. Has he become flesh in you? He became flesh in Paul, and Paul testified of it. He said, “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live. Yet not I, but Christ is living in me” (Gal. 2:20).
If the Word of God comes to you, he comes to re-create you in his own image. The Word of God comes to you to establish your thoughts, to shape your spirit, to direct your steps. He does not come to be challenged; he comes to take charge, to guide, to heal, to deliver. The Son of God did not take on flesh in order merely to become a topic for discussion. He came to govern, to purge, to make the believer perfect before God.
I do not ask, “Do you know the truth?” It is less important that you know than that you become the truth. Nor do I ask, “Do you know the way?” or “Do you see the light?” The issue is, are you the way and the light to others? John wrote, “As he is, so are we in this world.” That was good for John and those he knew in Christ, but for us, the question is, are we, like those saints, like him who is sitting at the right hand of the Father?
Jesus never intended for us to stand on earth and point up to the sky, at him, to show men the light. He came to make us lights in this world. Besides, even if we get men to look up, they still cannot see him. They still can only see us. Knowing this, my wise father taught us never to speak of Jesus to others unless we could also say to them, “Be like me.”
Paul wrote that “when he ascended on high, he gave gifts to men. . . . And he gave some, apostles, some prophets, some teachers,” etc. This means that, as your pastor and teacher, I am a gift to you. And as light for others in this world, you are a gift to them. Are you really a gift for them? Or let me ask it this way: Does he who is the Truth live in you? Does he who is the Light shine in you? Does he who is the Way walk in you? Can others attain to eternal life by following you? They can if you are following Christ. Paul unashamedly told the saints in Corinth, “Be followers of me, just as I also follow Christ” (1Cor. 11:1). This was not an unusual statement for Paul to make. He constantly exhorted the saints in every place to follow righteous men, both himself and others (e.g., 1Cor. 4:16; Phip. 3:17; 1Thess. 1:6; 2:14; Heb. 6:12). He knew that godly, mature saints were gifts to the rest of us, that like Jesus, they didn’t just talk about the truth and the way to us; they were the way and the truth for us, and Paul wanted us to take full advantage of them, as gifts from a loving heavenly Father.