John 17:3 Meaning of This Is Eternal Life

John 17:3
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Explanation and Commentary of John 17:3

Here, when Jesus has the opportunity to define what is eternal life, he does not say that eternal life is going to heaven, although that would be a part of it. He says that eternal life is to know God and Christ. The moment we believe, we know God, and the moment we know God we become immortal. Knowing God aligns us with our true self, and gives us our true life, which is eternal. This is also known as living in the kingdom of God as one of its citizens. This is being of the light in the Church; being one who is saved.

So much changes when we truly know God. When we know God, we know the truth that sets us free (Jn 8:32). When we know God, we know the reality of sin and its inability to satisfy. When we know God, we know ourselves properly, our own tendency to worship idols, to run from God, to pursue our comfort to the detriment of true life. When we know God, we have love (1 Jn 4:8). When we know God, we have true wisdom to live in the world, the abundant and eternal life of Christ, without being of the world. Anyone who knows God knows his Son also. Those who claimed to know the Father but failed to see Jesus did not truly know the Father.

The eternal life that comes from knowing God is the restored life that God originally intended for Adam before the fall. That we can begin to live this eternal life now upon salvation is a secret. Though the truth is plain in Scripture, much of the Church is kept in the darkness by satan.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 17:3

#1 “Now this is eternal life:”
In general, “eternal life” refers to the same thing as inheriting the kingdom of God and salvation. Jesus answers the question here as to the nature of eternal life.

#2 “that they know you, the only true God,”
We must not become too accustomed to the wonderful news that the God of the universe wants to know us, and wants us to know him. This is an amazing privilege for a creature to befriend his or her creator and call him Father. He is the only God. There are other false Gods, but he is the one true God.

#3 “and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
Along with knowing God comes knowing Christ, and both are part of the reality of eternal life. There can be no eternal life apart from the presence of God and his Son, Jesus Christ, who is the propitiation for our sins (1 Jn 2:2) and the mediator between God and man. God the Son, Jesus Christ, was sent to us by God the Father.

Bible Study on John 17:3

Expert Overview of John Ch. 13-21

Biblical Translations of John 17:3

NIV
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

NLT
“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

ESV
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

KJV
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

NKJV
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

John 17:3 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.