Paul Gauguin painted the picture above in 1897. He entitled the painting Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? It is a good question and Gauguin had no ultimate answer to the question. Where did humans come from? What are we? What is our purpose? What is our ultimate end? Do we die and then rot under the ground? Is there life after death? Is there any meaning to life at all?
These are basic, fundamental questions of life which by and large we do not ask these days, not because they are not important, but because we are distracted by entertaining ourselves and avoiding ultimate questions. Avoid the queries we may do, but we do not escape the questions. What is our purpose? What is our end? Can there be any meaning to a life snuffed out short due to cancer or accidental death? Is there any meaning to life at all? How do we know it? How can we find it?
Jesus wades into the cross-currents of our life in John 14.1-6, and shatters whatever illusion we had that we entertained the answers to life’s elementary questions. With breath-taking self-possession he says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Nine words. He sums everything up, every question we have in nine words, which we can condense down to just one: Me. The purpose of life, the reason that you are here, the footpath to significance is found in me and only me. “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”
There it is, dear reader. His words confront you. You do not have to believe his claim. You can reject it and try and find some ultimate purpose and meaning on your own. Paul Gauguin certainly tried…unsuccessfully. What you cannot do, is escape Jesus’ words if they are true. If he really is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one can come to the Father but through him, then that “no one” includes you…and me.