“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
What does it mean that Jesus is the life?
I can only find the meaning of what Jesus says in my own experience.
I notice there is a fear in me about what might happen when I’m older. I want to retire comfortably. I don’t want to worry about paying my bills.
When I observe this fear, I find what I’m really afraid of is incapacity—the loss of control over my body, feelings, and thoughts.
Incapacity seems to me like death itself overtaking me by slow degrees.
The terror of this creeping death is never far away. I’m not always conscious of it, but it’s there. It’s like a dark emptiness in my heart.
But what is this emptiness? Isn’t it the recognition that I have a need for life that the universe cannot satisfy? Everything in the universe is by nature perishable. There is nothing in this cosmos to hold onto. I need to live, but I don’t see how I can live, and so I’m afraid.
Jesus says he is the life. What a thing to say! Either it is nonsense, or the essential truth of reality. But is it true? Is it true that where life is, Jesus is, and where Jesus is, life is?
If it is true, and if it is true that Jesus is with us always, then even in death there is life.
Jesus’s presence changes the quality of emptiness. It does not change the perishable nature of the universe, but it imports something imperishable into the perishable.
And this is how Jesus could say to the rich young man, forget about financial security, take me instead.
Why not go to Jesus and see for yourself whether he is the life you need?