Have you ever been asked to describe yourself in three words, or even in just one? A question like this is often used in job interviews, in icebreakers for small groups, or at orientations for academic or church programs. We want to learn about each other in a quick way, and so we ask everyone to boil down their most important qualities and characteristics into a few words.
If you were to describe yourself as “joyful,” “honest,” and “hard-working,” you would not be saying that you never faltered in any of these characteristics. There are days you feel lazy, mornings that bring frustration and stress instead of joy, and sticky situations where you find yourself telling a lie. But when we read Christ’s own ‘about me’ statements in John 14:6, where he states that he is the Truth, the Life, and the Way, we see a self-description that is more definitive. He is not just a way, a truth, a life. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When we affirm faith in Christ as He is revealed in the Word, we aren’t saying that he is pretty truthful or even perfectly truthful. We affrim that “…[truth is] embodied in Jesus Christ, who he is and what he has done” (D. L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, The New American Commentary 38 [Nashville, TN: B&H Publishers, 2001], 221).