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March 23, 2021
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
Jesus promised to give us direct access to the Father through the Spirit, and now Jesus shows us what that entails. This chapter astonishingly draws us all the way into the intimate prayer life of Jesus during his final hours. We should take off our shoes before treading on this hallowed ground. What might we imagine Jesus would say to the Father at this critical moment?
Though Jesus’ earthly ministry had at times been shrouded in mystery and veiled behind cryptic sayings, the time has now come for the full significance and power of his kingdom work to be revealed. Jesus has done everything the Father has asked. All that remains is the final act. Jesus asks the Father to glorify the Son so that the Son might glorify the Father as the Persons of the Trinity have done from before the beginning of time.
The way in which Jesus asks for this glory to be manifested is by imparting eternal life to those entrusted to Jesus’ care. Real life, true life, the kind of life for which we long and for which we were made, comes from knowing God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.
Eternal life is the new life of the future which God has promised to his people. The psalms, including Psalm 72, attest that God has promised to give his chosen one a never-ending kingdom that will stretch from sea to sea. Jesus asks that this promise might be fulfilled as he ushers in the new creation so that all his people might enjoy the life of the age to come in and through him and his finished work.
How does Jesus define “eternal life”? Have you experienced it for yourself?