“There is glory in this paradox” by D.A. Carson

“‘I am the way,’ Jesus answers, ‘and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (John 14:6).

In this fashion one of the greatest utterances in Holy Scripture is called forth from the Master by the inability of His disciples to grasp what He had been teaching. It is an amazing statement.

‘I am the way’—spoken by One whose way was the ignominious shame of a Roman cross, the death of despised and debased criminals.

‘I am the truth’—spoken by One about to be condemned by lying witnesses, one who was generally not believed by His own people, by His own family.

‘I am the life’—uttered by One whose battered corpse would shortly rest in a dark tomb, sealed up by the authorities.

There is glory in this paradox, and much room for adoring meditation. Because Jesus’ own way was the cross, He Himself became the way for others.

As the lamb of God, He took away the sin of the world (1:29); as the good shepherd, He laid down His life for the sheep (10:11).

The lamb dies, the world lives. The shepherd dies, the sheep live. Jesus is the gate by which men enter and find life (10:9; cf. Hebrews 10:19f.); He is their way.

The way of Jesus is the cross; the way of the disciples is Jesus. Small wonder that early Christians were called followers of the Way (Acts 9:2; 22:4; 24:14).

He who was betrayed by an apostle, disowned by another apostle, abandoned by all the apostles, condemned through lying witnesses, was the truth.

We do not read simply that what He speaks is true, but that He Himself is the truth. He is the truth incarnate, just as He is love incarnate and holiness incarnate; for He is the Word incarnate.

‘The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth’ (1:14).

‘For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known’ (1:17, 18).

John is not telling us that Moses’ writings were not true, nor that they were something other than God’s Word. But however much the law was revealed by God, the law was not the unveiling of God Himself, the revelation of grace and truth incarnate.”

–D.A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14–17 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 27–28.

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Christology, D.A. Carson, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, salvation, The Gospel

One response to ““There is glory in this paradox” by D.A. Carson

  1. Pingback: “There is glory in this paradox” by D.A. Carson | sanctuarytalk

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