Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus gives his followers eternal life – 25 April 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

Jesus Prays for his Disciples

1After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. 2For you gave him authority over all humanity, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. 3And eternal life means knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

John 17:1-3GNBOpen in Bible reader

The gospel is good news when I discover what Christ has done for me personally. He accepted the way of the cross, in my place. Hy gave his consent in his prayer in the upper room and, again, in the Garden of Gethsemane, as we read in Matthew 26:42. Jesus has received the authority to take the sin of the whole world, of all time, upon his shoulders, to pay the price for us. His sacrifice would be acceptable to the Father. Every person who comes to faith in Christ as their Lord and Saviour receives the gift of eternal life.

Jesus do not describe eternal life here with the images of angels and people playing harps in the clouds. Eternal life is, firstly, a restored relationship with God. We get to know the Father, we now have free access to his throne of grace through Christ. He has created us to be his children and to live in relationship with him. Sin brought distance in this relationship. By faith, we are restored in our relationship, we are children of God once more. Eternal life is to know Jesus, to know and follow him as our Saviour. We follow in his footsteps until we reach our eternal destiny.

Eternal life is a relationship with God the Father and with Jesus, our Saviour. We miss eternal life when we do not know Christ and do not have a relationship with his Father. Eternal life is not earned by doing enough good deeds to tip the scale in our favour. It is a gift from God for those who know him. Jesus’ obedience leading up to the cross earned eternal life for all who believe in him.

The question about eternal life is not: “Am I good enough?” The question to ask about eternal life is: “Do I know Jesus? Do I follow him as his disciple?”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being obedient to the very end, including the cross at Calvary. Thank you that you have conquered death and opened up a new way of life for me, leading to my Father’s house. Help me to know you. Help me to get to know the Father more intimately by faith, as the God of love and grace. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.7
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