How would you define eternal life? The next of my favorite Bible passages answers this question. The passage (verse) is John 17:3.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3 ESV).
There is no other passage or verse that defines eternal life in such plain language. The word eternal forces you to think of life that lasts forever. And certainly it does. But here Jesus speaks to the quality of eternal life. Here are just a few of the reasons I love this verse.
- Jesus’ definition helps me see that Christianity is all about relationship. For two thousand years, believers have been quick to say that “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.” This verse makes that point better than any other.
- I think all roads in the Bible lead to this verse. Knowing Jesus, knowing His love, forgiveness and grace, is the pinnacle of human experience. The Gospel opens this door and delivers us to this end.
- This relationship with Jesus, eternal life, impacts every area of my life – attitudes, thinking, actions and relationships. Knowing Jesus changes us.
If you haven’t given this verse much thought before, hopefully this post will inspire you to give it a fresh look. When I did, it helped me see that I could experience eternal life here and now.