"And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3, ESV)
In John 17:3, Jesus of Nazareth teaches his disciples that there is only one true God: his Father.
But who is Jesus’s Father?
The Father of Jesus is the God of the Bible, the God of the prophet Isaiah, the God of Israel.
The Father is the God who spoke to Moses, who made a covenant with Abraham, who chose David, who sent Israel several prophets, who spoke to John the Baptist, and who gave Jesus authority over all flesh to give eternal life to those whom the Father gave him.
According to Jesus, knowing this God is eternal life—in other words, knowing this God is the way to receive eternal life. Eternal life, living forever, is distinguished by a personal knowledge of God.
Look, you may know about God, but you may not know God—just as you may know the President of the United States, but you don’t know him personally: you don’t spend time with him enjoying his company.
But Jesus also told his disciples something that was perhaps unexpected. Eternal life is not only dependent on knowing God, but also on knowing Jesus himself. Why? How is that possible?
Because Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t only Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph—more relevant than that, Jesus was (and still is) the Christ. This word Christ means “anointed.” In other words, Jesus was God’s anointed one, His Meshiach, His Messiah, the Savior of the World.
In order to receive eternal life from God, and in order to know God, one must also know Jesus, for Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and no one can know the Father without knowing Jesus.
Jesus told his disciples that before God created Earth, he was already with the Father, sharing in the Father’s glory. And all things that belonged to the Father also belonged to Jesus. Moreover, the Spirit of the Father takes from what belongs to Jesus to glorify Jesus. Why? Because Jesus was not only sent by the Father, but—being the Word of God—he also came out of God Himself, from God's very own essence. Therefore, to see Jesus is to see God; to know Jesus is to know God; to receive Jesus is to receive God.
Use this sample prayer to develop your own prayer.
God the Father, I place my trust and hope in you, and in your anointed one, Jesus of Nazareth. I receive you both in my heart, and recognize that he has come from your own being, because he is your Word.
How do the verses below relate to this lesson? Click here to read them.
Isaiah 63:16, John 1:1-3, John 16:13-15, 27-28; John 14:8-11, John 17:8
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