I love it when the Bible defines its terms. It helps clear the air or lift the fog and increase our biblical literacy. So much of the Bible’s vocabulary can seem like jargon. It’s like trying to enter a conversation about art, cars, computers, music or any sport when you’re sort of a newbie. The Scriptures throw things at us that we have either never heard of before, or can easily misunderstand for lack of a biblical definition.
The phrase eternal life is one such expression. Everlasting life is another way to say it. At first glance it seems obvious; it must be life that lasts forever – plain and simple. Now that’s correct as far as it goes, but it’s incomplete. There’s more to it than that and Jesus adds to our understanding in one of His prayers. In the Gospel of John He is speaking to His Father and, in passing, says the following:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. – John 17:3 (NKJV)
So this “life” is more than existence that goes on and on without stopping. It is life that is bound up in the relationship that we have with the Father and the Son – so much so that Jesus matter-of-factly says that it is that relationship. That is one compelling reason to deepen our connection with God. The very connection itself is eternal life. And that is a relationship that we will have all eternity to explore.
Bible Trivia: This is the only recorded spot in the Bible where our Lord refers to Himself as “Jesus Christ”.