Now This Is Eternal Life
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.John 17:3
When we talk about glorifying something or someone we typically are referring to making them known – drawing attention to them or to what they’ve done – and giving them the place of honor. In this first section of John 17, Jesus lifts up His request to the Father to make Him known – not that He may boast but that He may glorify the Father. However, there is a second reason that I see and that is found in our focus verse today (3). God’s purpose in sending Jesus was so whoever believed in Him would have Eternal Life. Jesus has been making Himself and the Father known during His time on earth both to the disciples and all who would listen to the message or saw the miracles. Having come to the end of His time on earth He points out to the Father, that He has been successful in what He was sent to do. His reasoning for deeming it successful was that the disciples had accepted the message God had sent Him to give and they knew with certainty that He came from God. And this, by Jesus’ definition, is eternal life – that they know both the Father and the Son whom He sent.
Our mission as believers is to keep the message going. It’s a mission made possible, according to Jesus, by the spoken testimony of the believers that God sent Jesus to save. The mission is accomplished with more than words though, it is to be the action of loving others as Christ has loved them, (John 13:34-35; 15:8, and 17:20). We accomplish the mission by living in a way that the world will know Him through us – just as He lived in a way that the world would know God through Him. Don’t miss the passion Christ had for the mission to save the world and to make the Father known. We’ve seen it throughout the book of John and we see it here as He prays and emphasizes His hope that the world will believe that God has sent Him. I believe it is clear from His words in this prayer that Jesus’ hope was that we would share in His passion.
Father I don’t have to feel like you are using me. I don’t have to know anyone is listening – I only have to live and love like Jesus, who kept the message going so the world would know You – the only true God and Him, who You sent to save us.
The Emotions of Jesus
One final thing I can’t help but point out – and that is how Jesus prayed and longed for those who had believed in Him. We can feel His excitement in verse 7 over them truly understanding His relationship with the Father and the Father’s real and present role in all that had been happening. I could also feel His true longing for those who belong to Him to be with Him. This is how He longs for all of us who are His. May we equally long for Him and for the Father; and may we pray for the lost to believe.