After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:1-3
Dear Lord Jesus, meditating on this passage this morning is like revisiting an old friend. I memorized this verse over forty years ago, yet I feel like I’m still very much a neophyte in grasping the wonder and implications of eternal life. As you first uttered these words in a prayer for your disciples, I find great joy in knowing that you continue to pray them for us—for me.
How I praise you that eternal life is so much more than simply living forever in your presence, though I so look forward to that. It’s about knowing God, in the most intimate sense imaginable, knowing the LORD as my Father and knowing you, the “sent one”, as the Messiah and Savior, our righteousness and holiness, our faithful Advocate and heavenly bridegroom.
It’s not merely knowing about you, though there is so much more I do want to know about you; rather it’s a life knowing you better and better and better; and the power of your resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in your sufferings (Phil. 3:10) Even more profoundly, it’s a life of being known by you (Gal. 4:9) with no fear of rejection or shame; no need to pose or pretend, no inclination to hide or run, no standing back, just a rich standing in grace.
Holy Spirit, I cannot know the Father and Son apart from your work. Keep gossiping the gospel to my heart. Keep me hungry for the knowledge of God. Don’t let lesser breads satisfy this craving. Don’t let lesser waters slake this eternal thirst. Don’t let me confuse information with intimacy.
Keep revealing more and more of Jesus to me. Humble me with his glory. Astonish me with his beauty. Mesmerize me with his mercy. Buckle my knees with his affections. Change me by his grace. Empower me with his victory. Free me for the advancement of his kingdom; for indeed, “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Dan. 11:32). So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ all-consuming name.