The Way, and the Truth, and the Life
With Christ’s declaration that he is THE way, he is claiming to be the only Savior of the world, the only mediator by which the human family can enter into the glory of the Father.
Here is a reflection on this part of the Gospel of John from Saint Nilus, a 4th/5th century monk, writer, theologian, and student of St. John Chrysostom (emphasis added).
“The Lord has not only shown us the way we are to travel, he has also pointed out our destination. Where I am going you know, he says, and the way there is known to you. This destination is our Father’s house, and our way to it is Christ, as his own words assure us: I am the way, the truth, and the life…. Let us set out, then, upon this way, holding fast to the truth and following in the footsteps of life. Christ is the way that leads us, the truth that strengthens us, and the life that restores us to life in him.
To make sure that we really understand his will, our Lord prays a few minutes later: Father, it is my desire that those whom you have given me be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory. How graciously our Lord asks his Father here to grant what he himself had promised earlier! The promise came first and then the request, not the other way round. Conscious of his authority and knowing the gift was at his own disposal, he made the promise; then as if to exemplify his filial submission, he asked his Father to grant it….
Yes, Lord Jesus, we do follow you. But we can only come at your bidding. No one can make the ascent without you, for you are our way, our truth, our life, our strength, our faith, our reward. We belong to you; be the way that carries us onward, the truth that inspires us with courage, and the life that fills us with renewed vigor.”
—Saint Nilus of Sinai, from Celebrating Sundays: Reflections from the Early Church on the Sunday Gospels