December 31 I Tuesday
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. For You granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” —John 17:1-3
The above prayer is one Jesus prayed with His disciples in the upper room the night of His arrest. When we consider in less than 24 hours the Lord Jesus will physically give His life for us, this prayer is full of meaning. He is about to leave this world and tells us what eternal life is so that we may receive it.
Eternal life is not living forever in heaven, though that is a wonderful consequence of the gospel. It is knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We cannot come to know Christ by natural revelation as seen in creation, or by human intellect, or through other people, or from all the reading and research we do, and not even through the Bible. All these are wonderful, but they merely tell us about Christ. We can know a great deal about the Queen of England, but unless we personally know her, all we have is information.
Jesus is not talking just about “knowing” as in meeting someone and knowing common facts about them, but knowing to the extent of intimate revelation by them and personal experience of them. The way we come to know Christ is by revelation of the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul prays for when he says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better” (Ephesians 1:17). This is discernment and understanding that comes not by a natural process of our own thinking, but from God Himself.
What is important in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is that he is praying the agenda of Jesus Christ into their lives. He is asking for things only God can do and give, and that is to know Christ better. A preacher cannot do that, nor can church, or any type of program or technique. It is not possible apart from the intervention of God.
Jesus once told His disciples, “I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me...” (John 10:14). Nothing has changed concerning eternal life since Jesus prayed in the upper room that night. His request of His Father is that we know Him. Knowing Christ comes from an intimate relationship with Him in which He reveals more and more of Himself and we learn to recognize His voice. From Genesis to Revelation, every verse ultimately leads to Christ, and it is knowing Him that matters to God.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Jesus. Getting to know Him is what matters most in my life. Guide me in this journey.