Jesus is about to be arrested and crucified. He is going to enter a period of the most intense suffering that anyone can imagine. And he knows its coming.
He’s already given his disciples their final instructions and reminders. So what does he do after that?
This prayer is perhaps the second most well-known prayer of Jesus, following only The Lord’s Prayer. It’s known world-wide as “The High Priestly Prayer”. It’s a prayer in which Jesus makes intercession for the church of the future.
As Jesus begins this most intense and beautiful prayer of any prayer in the gospel records, he starts with purpose. He reminds God the Father of why he has come — that he might glorify the Father. He also asks the Father to glorify him through what is about to happen, but only so that might complete his task of glorifying the Father.
He points out that the Father granted him the amazing authority to confer eternal life on all those given to him by the Father.
And then Jesus comes with an explanation — in the clearest terms possible — of how eternal life is conferred on us.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3, NIV).
Notice how Jesus here cements knowing God to knowing him. The two are inextricably linked. If you want to truly know God, to take hold of him and receive his grace, mercy and help, let no one convince you to look anywhere else than Jesus.
Know God, the Father, through his Son, Jesus Christ. Know Jesus as your Lord, sent by the Father to be your Savior from sin.
And eternal life is yours.
This is the gospel in its purest form! This is the central message of the Christian faith.
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, May 26, is 1 Samuel 17:38 – 18:30, John 16:5 – 17:5 and Psalm 68:1-6.
Father, thank you for sending me your Son to be my Savior. Thank you for glorifying him through his suffering, death, resurrection and ascension. In your Spirit’s power, I believe. Please receive me into eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ!
Header image based on "Gospel Graffiti II" by Peat Bakke, CC By 2.0