Wise Words

Tim Beals

READ : John 17:1-5

This is eternal life. (v. 3)

What ever happened to the English language? Where are the good old days when dude meant “city slicker” and chill referred to a process of refrigeration. I am amused and sometimes bewildered by the pace at which words and meanings change. But that’s nothing new. Jesus even threw us a word curve in the first century.

In John 17, Jesus defined a phrase he had used many times before: eternal life. We all know what that is. Eternal life is everlasting life, right? Life after death maybe? Not the way Jesus defined it. He came right out and said, “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Outside of a few important parables, Jesus didn’t often define his terms. But when it came to the supremely important issue of eternal life, he took the time to clarify what he meant.

He was telling us that eternal life is not simply endless existence. Everyone will exist somewhere forever (Matthew 25:46). The question is, in what condition or in what relationship will we spend our eternity? Jesus wants us to know the Father. He wants us to know himself too.

So commit yourself to knowing and loving God. To do that is to experience eternal life as God defines it.


Teach us to know you better today.