John 17 Reflection
In the previous chapter, Jesus has been speaking intimately to the disciples. He has warned them of the mistreatment that will come to them. He has informed them that he will soon be with them no more. You can imagine the questions that must have raced through their heads – the feelings of sorrow at just the thought of losing Him. Jesus spends some time reassuring them, but then turns to His Father in prayer as He had done so many times before.
Notice Jesus’ prayer in verse 3 – “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
I LOVE THIS! Jesus defines eternal life, not just as some sort of heavenly reward, but as “knowing” Him. This means that if we know Him, eternal life is NOW! It means that “eternal life” also describes the quality of our lives right here in the present. The word “know” also implies a present and ongoing relationship with the only true God and Jesus Christ. THIS IS ETERNAL LIFE!
Friends, if only we “knew” Him more…. if we longed for a deeper relationship with Him…. I wonder how we’d be changed? My suspicion I that as we enter this present “eternal life” by knowing Him, our struggles and pressures might seem much more trivial. Our burdens would become small in light of our relationship with Him. He changes not only our lives after death, but our lives now. As believers, we have already, presently entered eternal life! Let’s live as such! This makes us witnesses too and ultimately brings more glory and honor to Him.
– Steve Corn