John 14:6 I am the way
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Some people read:
“I am the way, …no one comes to the Father, but through me.”
When reading this verse, for some reason some people see in it a confirmation of the Trinity. Although I can not see how they can read either an explicit or even an implicit reference to the Trinity in this verse, still, due to its popularity it deserves to be studied
There appear to be a sizable number of Christians who when reading this verse interpret it to state that Jesus is God and that no one shall enter into heaven except if they worship Jesus. For this reason this verse should ideally be dealt with in section 1.2.3 (The ‘Son of God’), however, since it is brought up so often in discussions of the Trinity it appears to be appropriate to discuss it here.
The popular perception that this verse claims that Jesus requires our worship in order for us to receive salvation is not the intended meaning of this verse. However, in order for us to recognize this fact it is necessary to study its context.
If we were to back up a little and read from the beginning of this chapter, we would find that just before Jesus spoke these words, he said;
“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a mansion for you.”
The above statement is quite clear. It is in exact conformance to the teachings of the Qur’an. In the Qur’an we are told how God sent messengers to all tribes and nations. We are told that the basic message which was given to each of these tribes was the same:
“Worship God alone and worship none else.” Some of the secondary details of this worship might differ from one tribe or nation to the next according to God’s infinite wisdom and his knowledge of those people
. It was made very clear to each prophet that he was not to preach to anyone but his own people. It was further made clear to this messenger’s people that if they were to obey him that they would receive the reward of God. God would not hold them accountable for what any other tribe or nation did or did not do. This would continue until God’s last messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) would be sent to all mankind as the seal of the prophets.
“Verily!, We have sent you (O Muhammad) with the Truth, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner. And there has not been a nation except a warner had passed among them”
The noble Qur’an, Fatir (35:24)
“And verily, We have sent among every nation a messenger (proclaiming): Worship Allah (alone) and avoid all false dieties.”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Nahil (16:36)
“Verily, We have inspired you [O Muhammad] as We inspired Noah and the Prophets after him; and We inspired Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the sons of Jacob, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon. And to David We gave the Psalms. And messengers We have mentioned to you before, and messengers We have not mentioned to you.
And to Moses Allah spoke directly. Messengers bringing glad tidings and warnings in order that mankind shall have no plea against Allah after the Messengers. And Allah is ever All-Powerful, All-Wise”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Nissa (4:163-165)
“On the day [of judgment] when We shall call all humans with their [respective] Imams (prophets or books)”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Israa(17:71)
“How [will it be] then, when We bring from each nation a witness [for or against them], and we bring you [O Muhammad] as a witness over these people?”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Nissa(4:41)
“and the earth shone [on the day of judgment] with the light of its Lord, and the book was placed [open], and the prophets and the witnesses were brought forth, and they were judged between them with Truth, and they are not wronged”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Zumar (39:69)
“And [remember] the day [of judgment] when We shall send forth in every nation a witness upon them from among themselves, and We shall bring you [O Muhammad] as a witness over these [people]. And We have sent down upon you the Book (the Qur’an), as an exposition of all things, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who submitted themselves [Literally: Those who became ‘Muslims’]”
The noble Qur’an, Al-Nahil (16:89)
This is exactly what Jesus is saying here. He said that in God’s mansion there are “many” rooms. Jesus was sent to guide to only one of them. The countless other rooms were reserved for other tribes and nations if they would obey their messengers. However, Jesus was telling his followers that they need not worry themselves about the other rooms.
Anyone from among his people who wished to enter into the room which was reserved for them could only do so if they followed Jesus and obeyed his command. So Jesus confirmed that he was going to prepare “a” mansion and not “all” the mansions in “my Father’s house”.
Further, the verse clearly states that Jesus was the “WAY” to a mansion. He did not say that he is the “DESTINATION” which would be the case if he were God, the destination of all worship and prayer. What else would we expect a prophet of God to say except “I am the ‘way’ to God’s mercy”? That is his job. That is what a prophet does. It is why God chose him in the first place; in order to guide to the mercy of God.
This is indeed confirmed in John 10:9 where Jesus tells us that he is “the door” to “the pasture.” In other words, he is the “prophet” who guides his people to “heaven” (see also Jn. 12:44). Once again, this is the message of Islam. Indeed, 600 years later, God would command prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to tell mankind:
“Say (O Muhammad to humanity) : If you love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.”
The noble Qur’an, Aal’Umran (3:31)
“Not every one that says to me(Jesus); ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father, who is in heaven.”
Here, once again is our table:
Explicit Statement Implicit Statement
God is ONE Isaiah 43:10-11, Deuteronomy 4:39, Isaiah 45:18, Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 45:6, Isaiah 45:22, Exodus 20:3, Exodus 34:14
God is TWO John 1:1, John 10:30 John.10:33, John 5:18 John 20:28, John.14:6, John 14:8-9
God is THREE 1 John 5:7 Matthew 28:19, I Corinthians 12:4-6, II Corinthians 13:14, Jude 1:20-21
God is MANY Genesis 1:26