Embodying the Way August 3, 2009Posted by Matt in Christian Beliefs.
Tags: I am the way, Jesus, Marcus Borg, metaphor, scripture
From Marcus Borg’s Reading the Bible Again for the First Time.
Regarding the passage from John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”
In short, for John the way or path of Jesus is the path of death and resurrection understood as a metaphor for the religious life. That way – the path of dying to an old way of being and being born into a new way of being – is the only way to God. … The way of Jesus is a universal way, known to many who have never heard of Jesus.
The way of Jesus is thus not a set of beliefs about Jesus. That we ever thought it was is strange, when one thinks about it – as if one entered new life by believing certain things to be true, or as if the only people who can be saved are those who know the word “Jesus.” Thinking that way virtually amounts to salvation by syllables. Rather, the way of Jesus is the way of death and resurrection – the path of transition and transformation from an old way of being to a new way of being.
Finally, the language of incarnation, so central to John, is crucial in understanding the threefold affirmation of this verse: Jesus is not only “the way,” but also “the truth, and the life.” Incarnation means embodiment. Jesus is the way – Jesus is what the way embodied in a person looks like. Jesus is the truth – Jesus is what the truth embodied in a person looks like. Jesus is the life – Jesus is what life (real life) embodied in a person looks like. Taking Jesus seriously is not about a set of beliefs but about a person in whom we see embodied the way, the truth, and the life.