I think it’s about time we look at a more light-hearted song. So in honor of his recently announced album, “This is Not a Test” to be released August 7th let’s look at TobyMac’s J Train from his first album Momentum.
This song is pretty simple once you understand the symbolism used in the song. What is the J Train? Is it an actual train or just symbolizing something. What is the ticket that the speaker claims to have and where is this “train” headed? I’m assuming that many of you already know the answers to these questions with one listen to the song but lets take a deeper look at the meanings of these symbols and how they play a role in the message the song is trying to communicate.
To understand what the ticket the speaker holds is and where the “train” is going, we need to first understand what this “J Train” is. Well J Train stands for Jesus Train. This is fact not speculation because the song, itself, tells us this, “For the Jesus Train…” But what really is the “Jesus Train”? I think that this “train” is supposed to represent the journey of life once you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior. This train, as with a life of one who has accepted Jesus, is headed toward eternity in Heaven. The song seems to back this up, “Destination: out of this atmosphere.”
Now that we’ve sorted out just what this train is and where it is going, lets address what it means to have a ticket for this “train.” The speaker seems extremely happy to have been given a ticket for this “train.” I say this because he repeats it several times though out the song that he has a ticket and that he wants to tell the whole world about his ticket, “Hear me now, hear me now while I testify.” I think that having a ticket to this train headed towards Heaven is symbolic of accepting Christ in your heart as your savior.
Notice before how I said that the speaker was given a ticket? That would be consistent with God freely giving the gift of salvation to any who will accept it. Where in the song can we see evidence that our speaker didn’t have to purchase a ticket? We find proof in the line, “No lines to fight, no ticket to price.” No lines must mean that you’re either in or out, there is no waiting list and no tickets to price must mean that the tickets aren’t for sale. The only other way one can obtain something if not by purchasing it is by receiving it as a gift.
Another line I found interesting in the song was, “Hades to Glory in the blink of an eye.” This suggests that our speaker was on the train headed toward Hell until he received his ticket for the J Train.
I’m super excited to see what new content Toby has for us in August! Have you accepted your ticket to the J Train yet? It’s free and is just waiting for you to accept.