The eleven disciples were gathered around Jesus in the upper room. It was their last Passover supper together, an unforgettable experience. With so little time with them remaining, Jesus had poured out His heart to them, giving them instructions for His leaving, and promising them a guide for when He was gone.
And then, He lifted up His eyes to Heaven and prayed.
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so He can give glory back to You. For You have given Him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one You have given Him. And this is the way to have eternal life– to know You, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth.” John 17:1-3 NLT
With these words, Jesus defines Eternal Life. It’s not what you do; nothing we could ever do can possibly earn us life. It’s not what you know; for the best theology will never save a man. No, Eternal Life is a Gift from God, a relationship with the Father and with Jesus Christ His Son, Who came to earth to reveal His Father to a world of men who were hopelessly lost.
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Jesus had said. And He is; He is the perfectly complete answer to every one of our needs. He revealed His Father, the God Who is Love, to mankind, and offered to share His Father with us. He did His Father’s work perfectly. He made the ultimate sacrifice of Himself for us, satisfying the highest possible justice, and making possible the forgiveness of the sin of all the world. And He is sharing His resurrected life with all who believe in Him.
Very simply, without Jesus, we have nothing. With Him, we have all we need. He has offered Himself for us to know, and, in knowing Him, receive eternal life. None could ever know Him, unless He first reached out with His offer to be known– and reach out He did! He continues to reach out to us, knowing each one of us and offering for us to know Him, and receive Eternal Life from Him.