John 17.2-3 cont.
2 Even as You have given Him authority over all mankind (flesh), so that He should give eternal life to all whom You have given to Him.
3 Now this is eternal life, that they should know You, the only true God and Him whom You sent, Jesus Christ.
There was a song around a few decades ago which contained the words: ‘I’m gonna live for ever’.
For some the thoughts of living for ever are quite disturbing, for others it is a longing, a desire, and a hope. Our perspective will depend on the kind of life we have.
In reality the younger we are the more likely we are to think that we are going to live for ever. Old age and death seem a long way off. The older we become the more we realize that death creeps ever nearer to us, and the more we might be thinking that death is the door way to eternal life.
What is eternal life?
Jesus makes it clear that eternal life does not begin with the passing away of the death of our physical body.
Jesus says that eternal life is to know God and to know Himself. Eternal life is, therefore, a relationship with God, who is eternal. God’s word tells us:
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding – Isaiah 40.28 (NLT).
Jesus had already told Martha that He is the resurrection and the Life, and that whoever believes in Him will live, even though He dies, and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die – John 11.25.
A lot of presumption takes place when people talk about eternal life, the presumption that life will be similar to what it is on earth. That will only be true if the life we live here on earth is one of worship, a life that is focused on Jesus.
Eternal life is enjoying a greater sense of fellowship with our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eternal Life is being devoted to the eternal praise of God.
The hymn writer John Newton saw this and wrote these words in his well-known hymn: ‘Amazing Grace’:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.