Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
I have come in order that you might have life---life in all its fullness. (John 10:10)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
What do you think Jesus meant when he said to his disciples ‘I am the life’?
We use the word ‘life’ in many different ways in the English language. We talk about life chronologically, from the birth of a new-born baby to the death of a loved one. We also talk about life in the sense of vitality, a lively party or a person with a lively personality. And then there is the phrase ‘This is the life’, which will vary in meaning from one person to the next, but might involve a sense of contentment in a relaxed atmosphere, sunshine, a good book, a drink and maybe a poolside on holiday – though perhaps not this year!
As Christians we talk about new life, the life that God gives us when we put our faith in Jesus; new life that sets us free from the mistakes of the past and the mistakes we make each day. We also speak of life in terms of eternal life; life that continues beyond the grave, life full of love and joy, life without tears or pain.
I suspect that when Jesus said he is the life, he meant all of these and more. The beginning of John’s gospel tells us that through Jesus all things were made. He is there in the creation of life. He is also the source of the new life he offers to all who believe in him and he is there at the end, leading us to eternal life.
In our other verse from John’s gospel, Jesus said that he came to bring us life in all its fulness. The Greek word which is translated here as ‘fulness’ is translated ‘abundance’ in more traditional translations of the bible. It is the same word that is used for the abundance of bread left over at the feeding of the five thousand and could also refer to an abundant crop or an abundant harvest.
Many of the things that we value in life are transient. Possessions can lose their charm and their value, parties and summer holidays end, and sometimes don’t even start, and life itself will end one day. But the life that Jesus offers is eternal and is abundant. Let us therefore invest our time and our resources in the things that matter for eternity and worry less about the things that will soon pass away.
Father God, thank you for the life you have given me here in your world, here in this place, here today. Thank you for the new life you give me in Jesus, for the abundant life there is through faith in him and for the promise of eternal life.