First of all, please know how great it was to see so many of you at worship. We were blessed with joyful worship (I could hear you guys out there), and we were blessed with several guests at worship as well.
More than anything, I think we were challenged well by John 17:1-5. We are moving into what is called Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. This is where Jesus prays for the disciples, and He prays for us as well.
In this prayer, Jesus is speaking with God, the Father, He helps us understand eternal life. Toward that end, we attempted to answer this Big Picture Question:
Big Picture Question: What is the eternal life that Jesus gives?
And we specifically looked at these verses.
John 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
To understand what eternal life is, we approached it with these three answers:
The eternal life that Jesus gives is:
His authority over all things
Our knowing the one true God
The glory of Jesus
In verse 12, Jesus speaks about receiving glory from God because Jesus has authority over all flesh. And because Jesus has authority overall things, Jesus is going to give eternal life to all that the Father has given Him. Friends, this is why Jesus can die for us. This is why Jesus can be our Savior. Jesus can be our Savior because He has authority over all flesh, and His death is powerful enough to pay for our sins. We hope in this, but we also need to recognize that Jesus’ authority means that Jesus can and will do with our lives as He will. Oh, He will save us, but He will also call us to whatever He desires. That is part of living out eternal life. We serve an all-powerful Savior who has the authority to do as He will.
Additionally, eternal life is knowing the one true God. Jesus says, “And this is eternal life, to know the one true God and Jesus His Son. This is an intimate knowing. It is not like knowing a fact. Eternal life is, in the present tense, knowing God. And knowing God means we will be transformed. You cannot be in a relationship with the one true God and not be changed. That’s why having eternal life is more than just going to Heaven. It is that, but eternal life is being continually changed to be like Jesus as we are in relationship with God the Father.
And finally, eternal life is about giving Jesus glory. God gives Jesus glory as He accomplished all that God, the Father, has given Him. You and I are a part of that. Our salvation, our eternal life, our living it out, is about continually attempting to glorify Jesus in that relationship.
We ended our time with these things.
What is eternal life?
Truth: Eternal life is living under Jesus’ authority as you know God and give Him glory.
Application: Live knowing that every circumstance and moment of your life is eternally intended to help you know Jesus better while you give Him glory.
Action: In every circumstance, seek knowing Jesus more deeply as you seek answers. That is eternal life.
Thanks for reading this, and I pray that John 17 will continue to make an impact on you as your review these things. I hope you enjoyed the sermon, and if you missed it or want to explore it deeper, you can find it online now. I look forward to seeing all of you again this week and on Sunday.