I came across a bit of scripture today that caught my attention. Jesus was in the midst of praying for his disciples in the 17th chapter of John. While he was praying he defined the term, “eternal life.” I’d never quite seen this verse of scripture as set apart from the prayer. So what does Jesus say? He says, “This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” It’s quite something to ponder. Eternal life is found in knowing God and Jesus.
In 1541 John Calvin wrote a catechism for children in the Geneva ages 10 – 15. A catechism is a set of questions and answers that help people know and articulate the faith. It’s a very old style of Christian education that we don’t use anymore today, but was used extensively in the church for hundreds of years. The first question in John Calvin’s catechism for children had to do with what is the purpose of human life. What should our chief aim be? What do we live to do? The answer the child was taught to give was simple: “To know God.”
It seems to me that is what Jesus was getting at in his prayer. He wanted his disciples to know that life… real life… abundant life… eternal life was found as we know God, and we know God best as we know his son Jesus. When we make it our chief aim to know God, lots of other stuff falls into its proper place.
May you come to know God more and more in this Lenten season of discipleship.
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