Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Nothing could be more purely practical than this passage, this claim by Jesus! Yes, it is a theological claim, but it should be far more than another point of orthodoxy for us as Christians. Jesus himself, in context, is making this open and clear statement in order to settle his disciples’ souls and center their faith. Jesus is explaining — on the eve of his cruel and humiliating crucifixion — why they do not need to be afraid: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).
In our day, we not only have global religions making competing truth-claims, but global corporations with millions of dollars in advertising trying to convince you of their exclusive claim that their product or services will satisfy your every need and bring you lasting and invincible happiness. Everyone from pharmaceutical companies, to automakers, to fashion designers is promising you on a daily basis that they will give your life meaning and a deep sense of fulfillment.
The Christian gospel is the great answer to every troubling question you may have about the present or the future.
I dare say, in the Western world, we are just as tempted to look for another “way,” another “truth,” another “life” through our things and stuff, as we are to seek it through some false world religion. If we are not careful in our affluent, materialistic culture we can waste away all our time and energy and talent in pursuit of nothing more than the make-believe world of advertisers’ promised fulfillment and joy.
By contrast, the Christian gospel concerning who Jesus is and what he has done to save sinners is the all-sufficient antidote against anxiety. It is the great answer to every troubling question you may have about the present or the future. Jesus — who is no mere self-marketer — says that trusting him (because he really is who he says he is, and proved it) is the most practical, soul-settling, soul-satisfying thing you can do! Because on the cross Jesus is making a large and comfortable and sure space for those who believe on him to live forever in the presence of God.
The fact that Jesus is the way to God, the truth from God, the life of God means we are all equally destitute of the ingenuity, material resources, wisdom, or inherent worth to access God’s pleasure and presence on our own. Yet, if we are in Christ, we are all equally and perfectly qualified to boldly go to God in prayer and trust that he will hear and save us.