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  • Jeff Morgan

D. A. Carson on the Way, the Truth, and the Life

I've been working through D. A. Carson's commentary on the Gospel of John and discovered, to my surprise, that in addition to being a renowned New Testament scholar, Carson is also quite the poet. Here's a triplet of sonnets that Carson wrote on John 14:6 and Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life:

I am the way to God: I did not come

To light a path, to blaze a trail, that you

May simply follow in my tracks, pursue

My shadow like a prize that's cheaply won.

My life reveals the life of God, the sum

Of all he is and does. So how can you,

The sons of night, look on me and construe

My way as just the road for you to run?

My path takes in Gethsemane, the Cross,

And stark rejection draped in agony.

My way to God embraces utmost loss:

Your way to God is not my way, but me.

Each other path is dismal swamp, or fraud.

I stand alone: I am the way to God.

I am the truth of God: I do not claim

I merely speak the truth, as though I were

A prophet (but no more), a channel, stirred

By Spirit power, of purely human frame.

Nor do I say that when I take his name

Upon my lips, my teaching cannot err

(Though that is true.) A mere interpreter

I'm not, some prophet-voice of special fame.

In timeless reaches of eternity

The Triune God decided that the Word,

The self-expression of the Deity,

Would put on flesh and blood -- and thus be heard.

The claim to speak the truth good men applaud.

I claim much more: I am the truth of God.

I am the resurrection life. It's not

As though I merely bear life-giving drink,

A magic elixir which (men might think)

Is cheap because though lavish it's not bought.

The price of life was fully paid: I fought

With death and black despair; for I'm the drink

Of life. The resurrection morn's the link

Between my death and endless life long sought.

I am the firstborn from the dead; and by

My triumph, I deal death to lusts and hates.

My life I now extend to men, and ply

Them with the draught that ever satiates.

Religion's page with empty boasts is rife:

But I'm the resurrection and the life.

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