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That He May Not Fail Us

09 September 2011 by Frank Turk


Jesus lays down three titles, as if he had said that he is the beginning, and the middle, and the end; and it follows that we ought to begin with him, to continue in him, and to end in him. We certainly ought not to look for higher wisdom than that which leads us to eternal life, and he testifies that this eternal life  -- "the life" -- is to be found in him. Now the method of obtaining life is to become new creatures. He declares that we ought not to seek it anywhere else, and, at the same time, reminds us, that he is the way, by which alone we can arrive at it. For example, in order that he may not fail us in any respect, he stretches out a hand to those who are going astray, and stoops so low as to guide even babies. Presenting himself as a leader, he does not leave his people in the middle of the course, but makes them participants in the truth. And as they partake, he makes them enjoy the fruit of it, which is the most brilliant and wonderful thing that can be imagined.

As Christ is "the way", the weak and ignorant have no reason to complain that they are left out by him; and as he is "the truth" and "the life", he has in himself also what is fitted to satisfy perfectly. In short, Christ now affirms, concerning happiness, what I have also said concerning the object of faith: all believe and acknowledge that the happiness of man lies in God alone, but they afterwards go wrong in the same way. Seeking God somewhere other than in Christ, they take away his true and solid Dignity.

Regarding “The truth,” some believe it means the revelation from Heaven of salvation; others say it is the substance of all spiritual blessings as opposed to shadowy figures since John said, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, (John 1:17.) My opinion is that the truth here means the perfection of faith as “the way” means its beginning and first elements. The whole may be summed up thus: “If any man walks away from Christ, he will do nothing but be lost because he is off the way; if any man does not rest on him, he will toil forever as if vainly blown around by the wind because he is without the truth; and if any man is not satisfied with him alone, and wishes to go farther, he will find death instead of life.”

-- Commentary on John 14:6