John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Do you know God? Jesus said that to know God is to have eternal life. Conversely, according to Jesus, if you don’t know God, you don’t have eternal life. But what does it even mean to “know God?” Note that Jesus did not say “to know about God” is eternal life. Perhaps most people know something about God. They know something about the Word of God, for they’ve heard it. They may not think much about God but somehow, somewhere, and in some way, they’ve heard about Him from someone. Especially in the U.S.A. it’s almost impossible to avoid mention of God. You’ve seen the signs about God along the highway, especially when traveling through a more conservative religious region of the country. Politicians seem to make a point of talking about God once in a while, especially during an election cycle. At many major league baseball games, someone sings “God bless America.” And many people who you would least think know about God manage to use the word “God” or “Jesus” as part of a curse word. There are religious TV stations and religious radio stations where God is mentioned often. And there are thousands (maybe millions) of books written about God, telling us about Him, or claiming that He doesn’t exist. We hear many names that people use for God – e.g., Jesus, Allah, the names of the 33 million Hindu “gods,” and some of the old-time names for gods, like Zeus, Diana, Artemis, Mercury, and Cupid. Do all the people who worship (or did worship) these beings know God? They are all very different from one another, so can they all be “God.” In all this confusion, does anyone “know God?” Is there anyone out there who can sort all this out? If someone claims to be able to tell us, what authority does he or she have? And does it even matter?
Well, if what Jesus said is true, that to know God is eternal life, it certainly does matter. Jesus called the One he called “Father” “the only true God” in the verse above. He also claimed that He had been sent to earth by God (John 17:3). He claimed to have dwelt in the presence of God “before the world existed” (John 17:5). John 1 calls Jesus “the Word” and it says that “the Word was God” and “He was in the beginning with God.” Philip wanted to know God. He believed that Jesus had come from God, just as he claimed. When Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father,” Jesus replied “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves” (John 14:9-11). The works of Jesus, His miracles, His life, and His words revealed to the disciples that here was someone unique among men, and if there was anyone they could believe about such consequential questions as “Who is God?” it would be Him.
So, do you really want to know God? Do you believe Jesus can help you in this quest? If not, you must either not care to know, or you have someone greater in mind in whom you are trusting. If so, then you don’t know Jesus either, for there indeed is no one greater than He.