Text: John 14:6 Yahshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Recently, while I was driving to Maryland I saw a billboard that simply proclaimed that “Jesus (Yahshua) is the Way.” We all recognize this phrase, and those who are True Believers as defined by Yahshua in the Book of Revelation, interpret it in the light of His definition. Unfortunately, this phrase is directed toward the unsaved that are not biblically literate enough to understand the implications of trusting Yahshua as “the way” to reconciliation with Our Creator. On the other hand, if a person is biblically literate, they understand this phrase is not a stand-alone statement, but is qualified by other scriptures relating to the subject. Unfortunately, for those who are biblically illiterate, it conveys an entirely different message than Yahshua intended, and leads to a life of destruction. This phrase becomes more important for what is not said, than what is said. When presented as it was on the billboard, it leaves a false impression. As this thought pervaded my mind I immediately contrasted this message with the scripture that states:
John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (KJV)
As I continued driving the long boring miles, I began thinking about the meanings of “way” and “door.” A practical application of the terms as used by most people will see a contrasting message in the two texts. First, “way.” when read from the perspective that is most often implied by those seeking to convert the “unsaved,” seems to suggest that the person of Yahshua tangibly, and I emphasize the word tangibly, incorporates all that is needed to arrive at eternal life. That is, our intellectual and emotional acknowledgment of Him results in Salvation. However, this message is flawed, because James tells us that even the demons believe in Yahshua and tremble, and we all know they are doomed to perdition. Therefore, belief in and of itself will not qualify us to eternal life. The concept of a “Door” on the other hand indicates that we consciously apprehend an entranceway (door) as a means of access to achieve a given objective. When we resolutely enter in and find ourselves beyond the door, we pursue our objective, which was the initial reason for entering. For instance if it is to go in to lie down, we lay down, if to get a book, we get a book. Whatever it is we follow up with some action to achieve our reason for entering. Therefore, if Yahshua is the door there follows an action or actions that we must pursue to obtain our objective once we pass through the door. These were the thoughts that are the genesis of this message. Now let us go back to the text.
Yahshua is here addressing the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day and, He is criticizing them because they have perverted Scripture and promoted a false way to G-d. That of obeying man’s traditions instead of G-d’s Torah.
I want to ask you, when you heard or read tracts that proclaimed Yahshua is the way to G-d, that is, before you became literate of the biblical plan of salvation; what impression did that leave on your mind? Please think about it earnestly for a while and take note of exactly what reactions it incites in you. Then take this statement coupled with all the other one-liners you heard such as:
1. Yahshua died for your sins
2. He took the penalty of G-d’s wrath upon His own shoulders;
3. He paid your debt
4. The Law is nailed to the cross
5. Confess Him and be saved
Does it not sound all-inclusive, leaving you with the thought that all you have to do is acknowledge Yahshua and you are eternally saved?
I think most of you would agree that this is exactly the impression you had. Its a comforting message, and involves assurance of security. It is such an agreeable message that most people would have no problem accepting it. You might have even responded to such a message with heart-felt gratitude, happiness and feelings of elation, but does an emotional reaction guarantee a changed life. After the initial reaction wore off did you find yourself still anxious and questioning? These are the questions we have to ask ourselves. And finally, will such a confession bring us under the covering of the Ruach HaKodesh?
I feel that such simplistic one-liners do a disservice to the sinner, for it never addresses the real condition sinners are in nor do they address accountability. Far worse, they fail to give us the complete plan of salvation of not only trusting in Yahshua’s faithfulness, but also living by the standards of G-d’s Torah. Even if some emphasis is give to that subject, it is preferential at best and always relativist, and for those who may be struggling to understand what relativist means it is defined as: any theory of knowledge, truth, morality, etc., holding that criteria of judgment may vary with individuals and their environments.
Because these simplistic one liners are one sided messages, the same response Yahshua delivered in John 10:1 to the Pharisees of His day is also appropriate for us when addressing our modern day Pharisees. These messages that approach salvation in such a simplistic way by their omission of observing G-d’s Torah along with trusting in the faithfulness of Yahshua has also co-opted G-d’s plan of Salvation by presenting a perversion of it.
In John 10: 7-10 we read:
John 10:7 Then said Yahshua unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
Now, I want us to take particular notice of the word “door” in verse 9. I may be reiterating here, but I want all of you to understand. Experientially, we all know what a door is, it is an entranceway, and egress and opening that one may go through to arrive at a place beyond it. A door is a means of access and may be used metaphorically as in this sentence: “Torah is the door to successful living.” Contrast that with the dictionary definition of “way”: a method, plan, or means for attaining a goal: such as “to find a way to reduce costs.” Yahshua said I am the “Way” and the “Door” to eternal life. If we understand the words correctly within the context they are given, Yahshua is saying to us He is the “door” we must open to find the “way” to G-d. Opening the door does not end the journey, but gives us access, and the avenue whereby we ascend to G-d by living as He has instructed us. It is not the end of the trip but the beginning.
Yahshua was a Torah Observant Jew. He lived Torah to its completeness. He is the model we are to emulate. He never abrogated Torah; on the contrary, He said not one jot or tittle shall pass away from Torah until there is a new heaven and earth.
It is profitable for us to read this additional passage:
Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
For those that might be hung up on the word translated “fulfilled” in verse 18, let me say that the Greek word from which it is translated is ginomai, means to be brought into being or brought to pass. The only way to understand this passage is that Torah is valid, binding, and alive until the old heaven and earth pass away, and a new heaven and earth is brought forth replacing them. The last time I looked, we are still living on a hurting and decaying planet filled with sin and disorder, and for those who are interested in when G-d will replace this old hearth and heaven the book of Revelation will tell you when a new heaven and earth will be brought forth.
In retrospect, we agree that Yahshua is the “way” because of His example, and we cannot discover the “way” until we step through the “door” that is Yahshua, and receive the covering of the Ruach HaKodesh. It is a two-step process not one of merely acknowledgement and confession. If we fully understand, we will see that living within G-d’s standards, His Torah as did Yahshua, is the process whereby we receive eternal salvation after having entered through the “door” that is Yahshua. We must resist easy, non-accountability Christianity for it is the avenue to destruction. We must not allow simplistic scriptural phrases taken out of context to corrupt our understanding and miss the mark. Be on guard, understand scripture, rightly dividing the word, and step through the door of opportunity to the most exciting adventure of your life on the “way.”