When the Lord talked about going in John (14:4) He was talking about going to the Father (7:33; 14:28). He spoke of this often, and how they could get to the Father, so you’d think He was right, that by this time they would know where He was going and how to get there (14:4). The fact that they didn’t (v.5) proves that no matter how good a Bible teacher is, people don’t always get the message! Never be afraid to ask dumb questions, however, for they lead to fuller explanations, like the one we have in Verse 6.
The Lord told them there were no instructions to follow about how to get to the Father, that He Himself was the way to the Father. This statement gave His faith a new name, “the way” (Acts 9:1,2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:22). Notice Christ doesn’t say He is one of the ways to the Father, He was the only way. There are always many “ways” to hell (Pr.14: 12), but only one way to be saved, depending on the dis-pensation. In time past the way to God was through sacrifices; here in John the way was through Christ.
What did the Lord mean when He said He was “the truth”?
There were so many religious leaders in Rome claiming to have the truth that Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). There are many religious teachers today that claim to have the truth as well, but the Lord claimed to be the truth. But what does that mean?
Well, when He said that grace came by Him (1:17 cf. Gen.6:8) He meant New Testament grace. The Greek word for “dwelt” (1:14) is tabernacled. The Old Testament tabernacle was a tent of skins with the glory of God inside, the New Testament tabernacle was a coat of the Lord’s skin with the glory of God inside. The OT tabernacle was full of the Old Testament grace of the Law, the NT tabernacle was full of the grace of Christ.
Similarly, truth came by Him (1:17). “Truth” is the noun, the adjective is true. If something is true it is the truth, and if something is the truth it is true. The OT tabernacle was a tabernacle of God, but Christ was the true tabernacle. The OT tabernacle a candlestick, but He was “the true light” (Jo.1:9). The OT tabernacle had shewbread, but He was “the true bread” (Jo.6:32-35), and so He had to be worshipped in truth (John 4:23). He wasn’t saying He was the true tabernacle and the OT tabernacle was false, He was saying He was the true tabernacle and the OT tabernacle was a shadow. The shadows used to be the way to the Father, but Christ was the true way, and “the life,” i.e., the true life, the giver of life (John 6:51; ICor.15:45).
To see Him was to see the Father (John14:7). That didn’t mean He was like the Father, it meant He was the Father. If you saw Clark Kent you saw Superman. If you saw Pet- er Parker you saw Spiderman, if you saw Bruce Wayne you saw Batman, and if you saw the Lord you saw the Father.
“Sufficeth” (14:8) is the verb form of sufficient, or content. Men always think they’d be content if they were to see God, but they wouldn’t be (Ex.24:9-11 cf. 32:4). Of course, the 12 should have known He was the Father (Jo.14:9), but before you start thinking that you would have, remember He never told them plainly (16:25) but in “proverbs,” short sentences repeated often (Pr.14:12 cf. 16:25). But if the Lord was remonstrating with Philip it means they could have known Him from the Proverbs.
The Lord talked plenty about Himself (14:10), but the words weren’t His words. Being a prophet (Deut.18:18), He spoke by the Spirit (II Pet. 1:21 cf. John 3:34). He had told unbelieving Jews to believe Him because of His works (John 10:33-38), which is what we tell unbelievers to do (Ro.1:22). If the world is “without excuse” for knowing there’s a God after looking at the works of Creation, then the Jews were without excuse for knowing that He was God after they saw Him do the works of God.
He said the same words to the 12 because their faith in him was wavering, and when that happens, a man needs to be reminded of the works of God (Mt.11:2-5). If you think that your faith will never waver, than you must think that you are greater than John, the greatest prophet that ever lived (Luke 7:28 cf. ICor.10:12).