7th January 2012

Last Will And Testament

“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
John 17:1-5 (NIV)

How would you comment on this? Here is God the Incarnate, in communion with God the Omnipotent about the very life and experience of being God. One can read over and past it, but to engage with the passage at all is to feel almost silenced.

Unimaginable: The eternal life of God before time and matter existed. The splendour of the unity of God.

Unfathomable: The consistency of Jesus’ earthly life with the glory of God. The loyalty and love maintained—the same love that seeks to transform and include disloyal humanity in the eternal life.

Indescribable: What eternal life means. We know what death means, from the time humans decided to find out knowledge of good and evil for themselves (Genesis 3). Their first momentous discovery of guilt, struggle, pain and loss was both a kind of death in itself and a beginning of the whole sad suffering and dying process. This is death: to be separate from God. Real life—eternal life—is the opposite of all that.

“This is eternal life,” Jesus said: “that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

Reaching towards some level of comprehension, I get from that statement a sort of two-way significance: that to know God as the only true God (and to express knowledge of him in the choices we make) is to taste eternal life; and also that the only possible eternal reward worth the name is to live in the presence of God—where there is glory, from before the world began, from Jesus honouring his Father, and in the increase of the kingdom of God.

Prayer
Eternally living God, we worship before your holiness and glory.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Fiona Jones

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