We...Beholding...The Lord Are Changed Into the Same Image (continued)
Now I think we can leave Jordan and go on. That is the Man presented, the first view of the Pattern that has been shown. From that point the Pattern is described, and that description is all gathered up in a very simple phrase, spoken by the lips of Jesus: "I AM." That means that He is the all-inclusive representation of the Mind of God. Jesus Christ as a single personal reality encompasses all the original intention of God. He is personally universal. We have often said that when God reaches His end, in everything that we shall see and touch, we shall see and touch the Lord Jesus. What a glorious state that will be! You will meet me and I will meet you, and yet we shall not meet one another - we shall meet the Lord Jesus. All the difficulties that we find in other people will be gone and we shall meet the Lord Jesus. He will be everywhere and in all things. "A great multitude, which no man could number" (Revelation 7:9), and yet one all-comprehensive Person, the Lord Jesus. He is universal, timeless, without beginning and without end. He speaks of the glory which He had with His Father before the world was (John 17:5), and the Word is that that glory is to be in Him "unto all generations for ever and ever" (Ephesians 3:21). He is universal and eternal, and yet He comes down into history. This One of Whom we are speaking as God's Pattern or Vessel is all that.
Just before we finish let us look at a three-fold declaration that Jesus made about Himself. The words are so familiar to us: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). He did not say: 'I have come to show you the way, to tell you the truth.'
"I AM THE WAY." That is not the Pattern's idea, doctrine or theory: the way is a living Person. You can have all the doctrine and all the theory, but not be in the way. Difficult as it is to explain, this is what it means.
It is not by coming into the teaching of Jesus, but by coming into Him Himself that you come into the Mind of God. Being "in Christ" means that you have been introduced into the very Mind of God. When we come into Christ we are introduced into the Mind of God. But that is only an introduction. We are being introduced to one another here at this time ... 'This is so-and-so' ... 'Oh, I am glad to meet you' - but no one imagines that that is all there is to know about that person. There are some people you can know all about in five minutes, and after that they have no more to give you, but there are others whom it takes a whole lifetime to know. It is one thing to be introduced to Christ, but it is going to take all eternity to "know" Him. He as a personal reality is the full embodiment of all that God has to give us. The Apostle Paul did not say at the end of his life: 'Oh, I do want to know more about Christ!', but he did say: "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10).
So Jesus says: 'I am the Way. If you want to come into the full knowledge of God's Mind, you will find it in Me. It will be a matter of knowing Me more and more ...' "I am the way ... no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6).
"I AM THE TRUTH." Again, it is not what Christ says, not the teaching of Jesus. That may be important, but what He is saying is: "I am personally the truth." All the truth of God and heaven has become a personality, has become embodied in a Man. When He says "I am the truth," He is saying 'I am unique. There is not another like Me. In the matter of the truth I am the first and the last. I am the beginning and the end.' He is the Unique presentation of the Mind of God, the exact expression of the Father. If we want to know the truth, it can only be in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
"I AM THE LIFE." What a vast amount that comprehends! This takes us right back over the ages to the very beginning, and on to the consummation. God has comprehended everything in one thing. Is it the way, with all that that means? Is it the truth, with all that that means? All this is gathered into divine life. It was the original intention of God that man should have eternal life, and should share with Him His own life, but not one man of all the vast multitudes that ever lived on this earth had that life until this Man came and gave it. "I came that they may have life" (John 10:10).... John says: "The life was manifested" (1 John 1:2). He is the life and "he that hath the Son hath the life" (1 John 5:12) - not the teaching about eternal life, but the Person Himself. You see, He is God's Pattern.
(continued with # 16)