John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about eternal life, I think about what happens when I die. Is that crazy, that eternal life starts after you die? After all, life here on earth doesn’t really feel eternal. There seems to be a definite beginning and a definite end. And I can’t quite get over the fact that something with a beginning and an end isn’t eternal. But now this statement that Jesus makes in John 17:3 is messing with my head, quite frankly.
He says that this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and [me] Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. Okay if that is eternal life, then my mind just got a little bent out of shape; my paradigm just changed. Here’s why – I know God and I know Christ. I would even go as far to say that I actually spend time trying to know both of them more. It does help that they are one and the same; it’s actually a nice time saver. Okay, back to the point. If knowing God is eternal life then I am experiencing eternal life right now. That’s what Jesus said, eternal life is knowing Him. So I don’t have to wait until I die to experience eternal life? You mean it has already started?
But I live like a person on earth who cares about lots of things that have to do with my beginning and my end here on earth. I have much to do around this place. But Colossians 3:2 says set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Hmmm… eternal thinking. Understanding that eternity is not something out in the distant future will change the way we approach our lives. We don’t need to do good earthly things now to effect our eternity later. Rather, we need to be pursuing kingdom of God type things now, which will effect both our now AND our future. By knowing and pursuing God, I am unlocking the eternity of life that God has for me today. It doesn’t have to end. The great things of God in my life don’t have to end. They will just go on from today until forever. Because eternal life starts now!