"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

This statement, spoken by Jesus in an intimate conversation with his disciples the night of his arrest, is one of the most misinterpreted and mistranslated statements in the New Testament.

Here is the translation of Jesus' statement from the original Greek in the Devotional Translation:
“I am the path, the truth and the life: None of you will come before the Creator except through me.”
The thrust of the misinterpretation and mistranslation of many Biblical texts is the mischaracterization of Jesus as God - a precept propounded by the Nicene Creed forced upon the early Church by the Roman Emperor Constantine. 

Today, sectarian institutional teachers and even fanatical part-time teachers still use the incorrectly translated statement out of context to claim Jesus is saying he is the Supreme Being.

Yet even in the mistranslated statement Jesus is clearly indicating the existence of two individuals: himself and God. To get to someone "through" someone else means there are two individuals. "No one comes to the Father except through me" means there exists "the Father" and "me" (Jesus).

Jesus has not only clarified the existence of the Supreme Being as separate from himself many times, but he indicates that he is representing the Supreme Being. He was sent by the Supreme Being. Consider just a few of the many statements Jesus clarifies this role:
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
"For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me." (John 5:36)
"And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form" (John 5:37)
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
"And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day." (John 6:39)
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)
"Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me." (John 6:57)
Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from Him who sent me." (John 7:16)
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but He who sent me is true."(John 7:28-29)
Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I go to the One who sent me." (John 7:33)
"But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me." (John 8:16)
"I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me." (John 8:18)
"I have much to say in judgment of you. But He who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from Him I tell the world." (John 8:26)
"The One who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." (John 8:29)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but He sent me." (John 8:42)
"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)
[Jesus praying to God]"I knew that You always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent me." (John 11:42)
Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the One who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the One who sent me." (John 12:44)
"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." (John 12:49)
"I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the One who sent me." (John 13:20)
Are these statements by Jesus not clear enough that God sent Jesus? Even later in this very discussion with Jesus' disciples, Jesus states:
"These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:24)
So how could Jesus be the Supreme Being if he says that the words he is speaking are not his own but God's? Is Jesus trying to fake all his disciples out here? Did he say over and over that God sent him just to fool them?

Certainly not. Jesus is simply not the Supreme Being. He is clearly, according to himself, sent by the Supreme Being. He is providing a means for his students to access the Supreme Being. He is providing a vehicle for them to return to the spiritual realm. Let's consider how he explains this in his statement:

"The way," from the Greek ὁδός (hodos), indicates a passage or path. When used metaphorically, according to the lexicon, it is a "course of conduct," and "a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding. Jesus provides "the way" with his teachings. Should his students follow his teachings, they will reach God.

"The truth," from the Greek ἀλήθεια (alētheia), indicates knowledge that accesses reality, and access to the Supreme Being. "Truth" is pure knowledge, and the means by which we can come to know the Supreme Being.

"The life," from the Greek ζωή (zōē), indicates happiness and fulfillment, and living in a manner pleasing to the Supreme Being.

These elements are all contained in Jesus' teachings. As he states clearly above, he is doing "what pleases Him" and his teachings are coming from God ("These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."). He is therefore providing access to the Supreme Being.

In this role, Jesus can certainly claim to be their sole access to the Supreme Being. Because he has been sent by the Supreme Being to teach them how to return to the spiritual realm.

And how does he bring them back? Through his teachings. By their following his instructions.

As for "no one comes to the Father except through me": When a person is sent by someone else to represent them, is this not the typical situation - that the representative is sent to provide access to the sender?

Let's say the President of a country sends an ambassador to another government to negotiate on his behalf. Here the President is specifically authorizing the ambassador to represent him and wants to keep the lines of communication very clear. This means that the foreign government must negotiate directly with the ambassador. If they say they want to talk to the President directly, they would likely hear a similar response from the ambassador: You have to go through me.

Just consider what would could happen if the President allowed the foreign government to contact him personally after empowering the ambassador to negotiate on his behalf. The President would be pulling the rug out from underneath the ambassador. There would be confusion and miscommunication.

The same would be said for a company manager who delegates management authority to someone, and then continues to manage directly. Everyone would get confused - not knowing who to listen to - and the communications would begin to get mixed up.

Like a good boss or delegator, the Supreme Being gives full authority to those He selects to represent Him. While His representative is asking us to reach out directly to God and develop our relationship with Him, this is accomplished only via a relationship with His representative.

This can be compared to an introduction by a friend. Say we know a close friend of a rock star. The rock star is well-protected and leery of fans pretending to be "friends." But because we know this friend of the rock star, they introduce us to the rock star. Now once we are introduced, we don't just forget the person who introduced us. Our relationship with the rock star will be permanently attached to our friendship with the person who introduced us. Even if we might hang out alone with the rock star, we'll probably be talking about the person who introduced us. That bond will always be there. This is a matter of not only courtesy: It is a matter of relationship.

The relationship between God's representative and the Supreme Being is even deeper than this. They have an intimate relationship of love and loving service, evidenced by Jesus' saying that "I always do what pleases Him." God's representative has dedicated his life to God. He has given everything to God. He is fully dependent upon and trusting the Supreme Being.

God reciprocates in this intimate relationship. It is not as though the Supreme Being is some sort of monolith. God is a Person, and He enjoys exchanging loving relationships with His care-givers.

This of course is a spiritual relationship. It has nothing to do with the physical body. The spiritual teacher may be relating intimately with the Supreme Being and exchanging a loving relationship with Him, yet their physical body may be sitting in front of us motionless.

This is because the person is not the physical body. Each of us is wearing a physical body much as a person drives a car. The spiritual teacher just so happens to be functioning within that spiritual realm within while we are simply focused on the external physical world.

We must also understand the audience and context within which Jesus is speaking. He is speaking to his closest disciples. When he says "no one", he is stating this directly to his students. Thus the correct translation would be "none of you."

If Jesus meant "no one" ever; as in no one who ever lives before or after him, he would be invalidating the teachings of Moses, Abraham, David, Solomon, Job, Joshua, Samuel, John the Baptist and many others who delivered those whom they taught. Why would they have bothered to teach their students about God? And why did God ask them to teach things to their students if they were not representing the Supreme Being? It would also invalidate Jesus' sending out his own students to teach the same message he taught to them.

When a person truthfully teaches on behalf of someone else after being empowered by that person to represent them, they have become a medium to that person. For this very reason, we can invalidate the so-many ecclesiastical sectarian teachers who are proclaiming that Jesus is the only medium (teacher) to the Supreme Being while they are preaching. This is a contradiction. By their very preaching they are saying they are representing the Supreme Being, but at the same time they say that Jesus is the only means to God (or God himself). This is hypocritical.

This includes all the Sunday school teachers, ministers, reverends, priests and even those who preach from the street corners or by knocking on doors. They need to admit that they are claiming to represent God because they are preaching. And they want us to accept them as God's representative while they supposedly have direct access to Jesus. If they didn't need a teacher and supposedly have direct access to Jesus why do we need them to preach to us? Why can't we have our own direct access?

When Jesus says "me" he is indicating himself in the role of God's representative at a particular time and circumstance. In the same way, when the ambassador in the above analogy tells the foreign government that he is the only means through which they can negotiate with the President, he is not talking to everyone for all time. He is not saying that even after he retires, or even passes away, that he will be the only means for anyone in any foreign government to communicate with the President.

So yes, it is clear that Jesus is telling his disciples that they need to go through him to reach God. This is because Jesus is their spiritual teacher. He is representing God. God has empowered him to represent Him.

And should we come to know God's representative, we can also come to know the Supreme Being. We can also come to know the intimate relationship between God and God's loving servant. And we can see within that relationship the kind of love that exists between God and His children.

We can know that the Supreme Being loves us unconditionally, and know that He knows we will only be happy when we return to His loving arms as we come to understand Jesus' most important teaching:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)