I AM…The Way, the Truth, and the Life
The sixth and seventh of the seven self-descriptions, though in separate chapters, occur within the section of John called the “Upper Room Discourse,” the last time Jesus would address his disciples before his crucifixion. This passage is wrought with anxiety—Jesus has just told them that he was leaving to go be with his Father. Jesus’ statement that they already know the way to get back to him provokes Thomas’ heart-wrenching outcry that, no, they did not know the way. Jesus’ statement—while beautiful and ringing with theological truth—is primarily meant to address deep anxiety. “Do not let your heart be troubled” (verse 1) … “I am the way” (verse 6).