Reflections on John 17

by | Apr 16, 2019 | The Gospel and the Christian Life, Featured

John 17:1-3, “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,  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Do you know Jesus?

Not do you know of him, but do you know him?

Is he your supreme and lasting joy in this fallen and broken world? Do you delight in him more than you delight in the things of the world: television, in movies, in entertainment, and the latest gadget? Is your meditation the same as David’s: to delight in the steadfast love of the Lord?

Do you seek to know his will and to conform your will into his sovereign will? Do you trust him above all else even when it seems life is not going your way? Do you follow his commandments because you love him?

We must ask ourselves these questions because this is eternal life. To know Christ is eternal life.

To know someone has lost some of its connotations in our common tongue – its usage in the Old Testament had a different understanding. To know, truly know someone, was to know them completely. It was used often as a euphemism for the marriage bed, where the two would become one.

That knowledge that knowing Christ because His Spirit dwells in us to guide, guard, and direct us in the love of Christ is the will of God the Father. That is why Christ came: to give us eternal life.

He gave it to us. And as Paul states in Titus 3:5, that God saved us, gave us this precious, unending salvation, not because of our righteous deeds, but because of His mercy.

And this salvation is not the knowledge of one and not the other, as Christ states; but it is the knowledge of God as the one true and living God, and His Son Jesus Christ, whom He sent into the world.

We find the world in a sad state in the first chapter of John. Christ came into the very world He created, spoke to creatures whose ears He created, heard cries of blasphemy toward Him from vocal cords He intricately fashioned, and was killed by the hands He made. They did this because the world did not know Him.

That is why we must examine ourselves, as Paul commanded the Corinthians, to see whether we are in the faith. Ask yourself if you desire the things of God if you love the Lord and you love His people. Examining, however, is not an exercise in despair. It is an encouragement. Test yourselves, Paul says, and if you pass the test, realize that Paul states that Christ Jesus is in you (2 Corinthians 13:5).

We must test our actions, examine our beliefs, question our motives, because on that day, Christ will say to some who thought they knew Christ and prophesied in His name, cast out demons, and did many wonders, even doing so in His name, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23).

If we do many mighty works in Christ’s name, do we do it for His glory or our recognition? Do we seek to understand Scripture because we want to love God more fully, live life more faithfully, and walk with God more humbly; or do we want to make money, be famous, or wear a title, and the respect that comes with it?

Those who seek to use God for selfish gain do not know God, because to know Him, rightly know Him in a salvific way, is to know why God created us: for His glory. Christ was sent to the earth to save sinners with a purpose to glorify God by accomplishing the work His Father gave Him to perform.

And we were created in Christ Jesus to perform good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). And those good works are meant to be seen; and when they are seen by the world, namely, by those in the world whom God has called, they resound in giving glory to God in Heaven (Matthew 5:16),

So, we have the blessed gift to know Christ and so glorify God in our thoughts, words, and deeds. And we know Him because we love Him, and we love Him because He first loved us. He drew us to Christ, and so we know Him, and so we love Him, and so we will be called by Him to life eternal.

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