Out of the Mouths of Babes
The doors leading into our butler's pantry are painted with chalkboard paint. Each morning I write the date on one, and a passage of scripture on the other. The Bible verse serves as our devotional content during breakfast.
One day last week we read and discussed John 14:6. In the passage, Jesus says to Thomas, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
After getting my three oldest girls to repeat the verse, I began asking some questions. The answers revealed something rather profound.
Daddy: "What does it mean for Jesus to be the way?"
Sam: "That He is the way to God."
Daddy: "What does it mean for Jesus to be the truth?"
Sam: "That He always tells the truth?"
Daddy: "What does it mean for Jesus to be the life?"
Sam: "That He likes us and so He will let us live."
After Sarah and I laughed at the seemingly cold nature of Sam's last answer, we began to discuss how context informs understanding.
When Jesus says, "I am the way" Sam was correct. Jesus is the way to the Father. She gets this because she understands "the way" in context of direction.
When Jesus says, "I am the truth." Sam only understands truth as the opposite of a lie. Sam has no context for Jesus being the incarnate Word of God. However, she's still correct because no lie proceeds from the mouth of God.
But that final answer was the one that caught us. When Jesus said, "I am the life." Sam has no context whatsoever for our lives being hidden IN Christ. She only understands her own life. So since Jesus "likes us" according to Sam "He will let us live."
The Bible doesn't teach us about life apart from God. On the contrary, the Gospel reveals that we are already dead in our trespasses and sins and that God in His great love for us allows us life IN Him. We're not a people autonomous from God. Instead in Him we live and move and have our being. Apart from Him, we are nothing!
Sam is six, she's eager to understand these things, and over time she'll get there. For now, our conversations serve as teaching opportunities for Sarah and I and catalysts for self-reflection. Specifically whether or not proper context informs some of the things we've espoused.
I want to challenge you today to read a little deeper as you study God's word. You may find something you've missed.