We talk so much about eternal life in terms of living forever in an afterlife that we miss an equally fundamental truth: aionios life is more than life without end; it’s also life without beginning. This is the kind of life God has — an I AM life. Eternal life sees daily life the way God sees earth from his throne in heaven. What seems enormous here looks truly microscopic from that vantage point. Eternal life transcends temporary struggles. Eternal life lifts us above transient setbacks. Eternal life sets you free.
And how does Jesus say you find this kind of life? The passage says the way to have it is to know God and Christ. This isn’t just acquiring knowledge about God and Jesus. A New Testament Greek lexicon will tell you ginosko knowing is about perceiving, feeling, and understanding someone else. Jesus uses a Jewish idiom about the sexual relationship between husband and wife. You find your way to eternal life by becoming intimately acquainted with the Father and Jesus — spending time together, taking off all the pretense you wear every day, laying aside your threadbare self-indulgences, lingering in divine love’s warm glow, savoring every moment for as long as possible.
You’re already halfway there: The Lord knows you intimately. He knew you before he formed you in the womb. All you need is to become intimately acquainted with him.
Spend time with the Lord. Your heart will be set on fire. Peace will wash over you. Joy will well up and overflow. Hope will fill you with confidence. The Father’s love for his lost, broken children will transform your attitudes and relationships. God’s shalom will settle in over your life, and you will be consumed with a passion for others to experience it too. The deepest desires of your heart will be completely satisfied.
This is eternal life. Just turn toward him and step into his presence.