I do not know if there is any other religion where one of the key figures makes a claim similar to the one Jesus makes here. There are many who have exhorted others to follow the examples of their lives if they want to achieve perfection, enlightenment, nirvana etc, but nothing quite like Jesus who tells us that his life is more than just an example of how to live. He is the very means by which salvation and eternal life will be given to us! It is he, Jesus, who is the key to these realities and not just one example among many!
I am the Way – in some places the Early Christians were called “The People of the Way” because of their distinct understanding of the role of following Jesus’ example to the point of not just the imitation of his way of life, but becoming one with him in his life of sacrifice and self-giving.
I am the Truth – Jesus embodies the essence of truth in all that he says and does. There is nothing contrary in him in that his entire life is given over to doing the will of his father in heaven and thus to union with God. Yes, being the Son of God he is already one with God, but what his life demonstrates is that obedience to the truth is a key expression of unity with the Father; without obedience to him, our discipleship is meaningless.
I am the Life – this aspect is self-explanatory in that the ultimate choice is placed before us in the option to follow Jesus, the path to Life, or not. John Paul II kept putting this choice before us in his language that described the options before us in terms choosing to live according to a culture of life, or a culture of death.
This is a summary of Christian discipleship. I wonder how we fare in our adherence to the way of a disciple of Jesus? I wonder what areas we need to grow in our lives so that we will be more faithful witness to the Truth of the Kingdom of God and the Life offered to us through following the Way of Jesus?
What do I need to do; what decisions do I need to make to ensure that I will maintain my goal of living as a disciple of Jesus?
Father, I do not doubt your goodness to me; nor do I doubt your faithfulness to your promises, help me to be faithful to my commitment to embrace and follow your will.