John 17:3-5 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Having already worked through verses 1-2 and learned from them that Jesus was praying His High Prieslty Prayer and in the first two verses, He prayed that God must glorify Him as He will in turn glorify God. We learned that God will glorify Jesus by raising Him from the dead and sitting with Him at His throne, and in turn, Jesus will glorify God by dying on the cross for our sins and thereby showing that God is a righteous and a just God who will not leave sin unpunished. Jesus’s death will also show that God is merciful, full of grace and full of love. Jesus indicated that God must glorify Him by giving him the power over all mankind in order that he may give eternal life to those whom God has given him. This is a nudshell summarizes verses 1-2.
Now in this verse, verse 3, Jesus explains how to obtain this eternal life that is given by him and has the power to give.
Let’s do a quick word study from this verse.
Remember that we said in the previous messages that the word “eternal” is translated from the Greek word “aionios” which means everlasting. The word “know” is translated from the Greek word “ginosko” which means also, understand, perceive, discern, have knowledge or come to know. The word “true” is translated from the Greek word “alethinos” which means, real, ideal or genuine.
Now that we have a better understanding of the words used in verse 3, looking at the verse once more and replacing some of the words we now know, we can see that Jesus said, this is everlasting life, that you understand and come to have knowledge about the only real and genuine God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. The word only here translated from the Greek word “monos”, means only, alone or without others. In Deut 6:4, the bible says “The Lord is our God, The Lord is one”. In John 5:44, Jesus refers to God as the only God. In 1 Thes 1:9, Paul refers to God as the living true God as opposed to idols. In 1 John 5:20, John gives a beautiful summary:
1 John 5:20 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
The key words in verse 3 that we are dealing with is “to know”, “only” and “true”, in reference to God. We see here in 1 John 5:20 that, it is Jesus who gives us the understanding so that we may “know” who is “true”. Both these verses, 1 John 5:20 and John 17:2 indicate to us that it is Jesus who gives us eternal life which Jesus defines as to “know” the only “true” God.
Therefore, It is Jesus through which eternal life is obtained and eternal life is only obtained by knowing who the true God is and who His son is whom He has 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.
As we have already indicated when we were discussing verses 1-3, Jesus looks into the future, past His death on the cross and He is speaking here as if He had already died on the cross. Jesus is saying that He has accomplished the works that God had given Him to do and that Has glorified God. Now, Jesus says God must glorify him by raising Him from the dead and placing him in His presence in heaven. Jesus says that Him being in the presence of God is exactly how it was before the world existed.
Let us now summaries verses 1-5 where Jesus is praying for Himslef. Jesus in His High Priestly prayer prays first for Himslef and He asks that God must glorify him by raising Him from the dead and sitting Him next to Him in heaven. Jesus says He will also glorify God by dying on the cross for our sins and thereby declaring God a just God who won’t allow sin to go unpunished. Jesus’s death on the cross wil also show that God is merciful, full of grace and full of love. Jesus then prayed that God must also glorify Him by giving Him the power to give eternal life to whom God has given him. Jesus then said this eternal life is only obtained by knowing the true God and His Son whom He has sent. Jesus concluded this portion of prayer by saying that He has accomplished what God wanted Him to do and now it’s time to return to the glory that He had with God before the world existed. Amen.
Jesus’s death on the cross gave glory to God and in turn God glorified Jesus. Jesus has the authority to give eternal life to whom God has given Him. Jesus is now sitting with God in heaven on His right hand.