John 17:2 “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.’”
Do you realize that there is only one person in the universe Who has the authority, ability, and power to give you eternal life? Certainly, none of us have that power, for we can’t even give ourselves physical life. We had nothing to do with it. It was others – our own parents – that had the ability to give us that life, but even then, their power to do this was given to them by God. There are those who claim that they have the power to give eternal life – or life in paradise – or some other word for it. Allah is one that millions of people claim has that power. The Hindus have their gods, as do the Buddhists, and others. Others try to avoid this issue altogether by claiming that there is no God and that there is no such thing as life after death. In doing this they are claiming authority for themselves that they really don’t have. Certainly, they can’t know this.
In the words above, Jesus proclaimed that He alone has the power to give anyone eternal life. And it is Jesus alone that demonstrated this by His actions on His own behalf, showing that He had the authority and power to lay down His life, and then to take it up again (John 10:18). We, on the other hand, have been given the authority to either believe this or not. We have it within our power to reject the claims of Jesus and walk away from Him, or to embrace his claims and follow him. At one point, Jesus asked His apostles after many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with him “Do you want to go away as well?” This was a critical decision point for them. They could have either turned their back on Him like so many others, or they could remain with him, which was the minority position. It was at this point that Simon Peter, speaking for the Twelve, answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).
You see, Peter, like the rest of us, had a choice – follow Jesus – or not. But Peter also realized that he was left with no other alternative, really, for where else could he go? Who else could he possibly follow? Where would any other path lead? He knew that any other path led only away from eternal life – which made absolutely no sense to him.
So, what about you? What or whom are you following? Do you know of some other way to life? Even if you think you do, you have to know, in your heart of hearts, that you really don’t know at all.