"And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3, ESV)
Jesus glorified his Father by coming down to earth and accomplishing all of the work the Father gave him to do. This finished work provides eternal life for a new creation in Christ Jesus, for the old creation is separated from God due to the penalty of sin which brings forth death and darkness. In this original state of sin, man and woman continue to live on this earth that God created, but sadly, they do not know God and in return do not worship Him. Thankfully, Jesus came to lead a people out of this darkness and into the glorious light so that they may have eternal life by knowing God!
As Jesus prayed in the garden before heading to the cross, he knew that man’s greatest need was to know God. What was impossible for man was made possible by the God-Man, Jesus Christ. The good work of Jesus brings us before the Father and reconciles our broken fellowship with Him. In this we must remember that God did nothing wrong, but because Jesus did everything right in the eyes of the Father and paid for all of our wrong at the cross, we are now able to know God—and this is eternal life, that we know God!
The word know is in the present-active tense, signifying a knowing that is currently taking place and is ongoing. Which means all who are in Christ can know God — now! Maybe you always thought eternal life began once you died and passed from this present earth and received all of your greatest longings of peace, happiness, and reuniting with family and friends. All of these longings can be good, but the greatest part of eternal life is God Himself—the greatest reward that we receive in eternal life is knowing God! If we will embrace this glorious truth, it will change the way we live on this present earth. We will live with great purpose for the glory of God!
May we long to know God more in every gifted day that He provides for us. For each new day is an opportunity to know Him more, which in turn places us in a gracious posture of dependence upon Him and centers God in the midst of all of our praise, worship, and greatest longings here on earth! And this eternal life will never end! We will forever grow in our knowledge of God throughout all of eternity, which means the best is not behind us: THE BEST IS YET TO COME!