The knowledge that is eternal life

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

How is it that knowing God the Father and Jesus, God’s son, is the same as eternal life, for that’s what Jesus claimed in the verse above?  How is it that to know any being is equivalent to the life that that being has?

Perhaps one way to think about this is to think about one’s spouse.  Is it possible to share your spouse’s life?  Certainly it’s more possible than to share the life of someone with whom you have a lesser relationship.  The Bible says a husband and a wife become one flesh.  There is an intimacy in the marriage relationship that is exclusive to that relationship.  These two individuals once lived separate lives in separate places with different families. They each were doing their own thing without any thought of the other person.  All this changed when they entered into the covenant of marriage.  They now began to share their life with another person. No longer was their time just their time and their concerns just their concerns. Now everything was to be shared.  Now every action and decision in this new life of unity had impacts on another person, and any actions or decisions by one partner now had impacts on the life of the other.  They had chosen to live life together as one, to know each other as only a husband and wife can, and to be committed to one other for their mutual benefit until death. 

Isn’t a relationship with God similar to this in many ways?  Isn’t one of the church’s identities the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33, Revelation 19:7-9, 2 Corinthians 11:2)?  When we enter into a relationship with God, suddenly our life isn’t just our life alone, it belongs to another.  Now every decision must take into consideration how that decision affects this new relationship – a love relationship that is meant to eclipse any other relationship we’ve ever had .  Our life is now (or should be) consumed with God, with a desire to please Him with everything we think, say, or do.  It is a shared life, which means, incredibly, that God has chosen to share His life with us.  This One who is all powerful, all glorious, and Who defines love by Who He is, desires to share all of Who He is with us, including such awesome and indescribable things as His righteousness, His joy, His love, and His peace.  He has determined to reveal His thoughts to us, thoughts about every important issue of life, as well as His thoughts about us.  He will never leave us nor forsake us – there is absolutely no fear of divorce from Him.  And the life that He has chosen to share with us, unlike our physical life, will never end.  Everything that is His is now ours.  We are now joint heirs with Jesus, and when He appears we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2).  Nothing can ever separate us from His love – not time, not circumstances, not another individual, not Satan, and not death. 

Each and every moment lived in the knowledge of God is a moment lived as an expression of His great love to us.  It’s a life lived in the knowledge of His awareness and protection of us, and the peace and joy that comes to us from such knowledge.  This new life is a life of novelty, for no matter how much we know about Him, there is infinitely more to know.  No matter how awed we are by Him, there is more, and more, and then still more.  And we know this because we know Him, and that is exactly Who He is.  It’s what He’s like.  It’s His nature, and it’s how He lives. 

What a wonderful thing it is to know this God Who has chosen to dwell not only with every believer but in them as well (John 14:17).  There is nothing else even remotely like it.  It is the wonderful gift of eternal life, God’s life, a life that’s only available through knowing Him.

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