Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
“Don’t be afraid of death, Winnie,” said Angus Tuck, “be afraid of the unlived life.” That quote from the book-turned-film Tuck Everlasting is made more interesting by the fact that it comes from a character who can’t die. In the story, the Tuck family has become immortal. Young Jesse Tuck, who falls in love with Winnie, begs her to seek immortality too so they can be together forever. But wise Angus understands that simply enduring forever doesn’t bring fulfillment.
Our culture tells us that if we could be healthy, young, and energetic forever, we would be truly happy. But that’s not where our fulfillment is found. Before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed for His disciples and for future believers. He said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). Our fulfillment in life comes from a relationship with God through faith in Jesus. He’s our hope for the future and joy for this present day.
Jesus prayed that His disciples would take on the patterns of new life: that they would obey God (v. 6), believe that Jesus was sent by God the Father (v. 8), and be united as one (v. 11). As believers in Christ, we look forward to a future eternal life with Him. But during these days we live on earth, we can live the “rich and satisfying life” (10:10 nlt) that He promised—right here, right now.
Where’s your joy and contentment found in this life? In what ways do you exhibit new life in Christ?
Jesus, help me take hold of the abundant life that You’ve given to me.
Jesus’ prayer in John 17 echoes the theme stated at the beginning of the gospel: eternal life is experienced through Christ, the Word of God (1:1, 4; see 3:16). Throughout John’s gospel, we see that there’s an inseparable union between God and Jesus. To know Christ is to know God (1:14, 18). John 17:3 makes this connection clear: “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Through Christ, believers are drawn through the Spirit into experiencing the rich, joyous, and eternal life of the three-in-one God (Father, Son, and Spirit).
Learn more about Union with Christ.