And this is life eternal, that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. – John 17:3.
In the night in which He was betrayed, after the parting words which John records had been spoken, Jesus lifted His eyes up to heaven and, with a loud voice, in the hearing of His disciples, prayed to His Father. First, He prayed for Himself, saying: “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee, as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:1-5).
Dear Christian! The Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. All men are in the Savior’s hand. Without Him no man can have eternal life. He gives eternal life to all whom the Father gives to Him, whom the Father makes His own through faith in His dear Son. As our Good Shepherd, Christ gives eternal life to all of His sheep, who know His voice and follow Him (John 10:27-28).
Through His work and through His saving Word, the Son glorifies the Father; He truly reveals the Father in His great tender mercy. And, again, the Father glorifies the Son by presenting Him to the world as the only Savior, and by highly exalting Him, after His work of salvation was accomplished, into the eternal glory which He had with the Father before the world was, from everlasting. And now He, who thus through faith knows the Father to be the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He sent to be the Savior, has eternal life.
May the Holy Spirit, through His Word, engraft this in your heart, O Christian, so that you may always remain in such knowledge, which is eternal life.
PRAYER – O Father in heaven, I give thanks to Thee that Thou hast granted me grace to know Thee according to Thy tender mercy, which was manifested in Christ Jesus, Thy dear Son, our Lord and Savior. O Father, grant me a rich measure of Thy Holy Spirit working mightily through Thy Word, that I may ever continue in Thy Word, which tells me of Thy great compassion, helps me to trust in Thy compassion to my end, and thus, by Thy grace, inherit the fullness of eternal life, which Thy dear Son, my Savior, has merited for me at so great a price. Amen.
“Christ, the Life of all the living, Christ, the Death of death, our foe;
who, Thyself for me once giving, to the darkest depths of woe;
through thy sufferings, death, and merit, I eternal life inherit;
thousand, thousand thanks shall be, dearest Jesus, unto Thee.
Then, for all that wrought my pardon, for Thy sorrows deep and sore,
for Thine anguish in the Garden, I will thank Thee evermore;
thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing, for Thy bleeding and Thy dying,
for that last triumphant cry, and shall praise Thee, Lord, on high.”
Hymn 151, vv. 1, 7. (TLH)