John 17:3 - Eternal Life is a Supreme Relationship with Jesus Christ.

John 17:3; Eternal Life is a Supreme Relationship with Jesus

John 17:3 (KJV)  And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 17:3 (TLB)  And this is the way to have eternal life--by
knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to

This is Christ's definition of salvation, [Ryrie SB]

Christ defined eternal life as intimate personal knowledge of
Father and Son. Eternal life is not a possession but an eternal
relationship. [Disciple SB]

Jesus gives eternal life to all who receive Him. This eternal
life consists in fellowship with God through saving faith in Jesus
Christ. [Passages Of Life SB]

How do we get eternal life? Jesus tells us clearly here - by
knowing God the Father himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. Eternal
life requires entering into a personal relationship with God in Jesus
Christ. [Life Application SB]

The way to attain this eternal life is to acknowledge, worship,
and obey, the one only true God, and to accept as teacher,
sacrifice, and Saviour, the Lord Jesus, the one and only true Messiah.
(Adam Clarke Commentary)

Experimental, living knowledge leads to life eternal. There is
no salvation in knowledge alone, but neither can there be salvation
without knowledge. [SDA Commentary]

The experimental knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He
has sent, transforms man into the image of God. It gives to man the
mastery of himself, bringing every impulse and passion of the lower
nature under the control of the higher powers of the mind. It makes its
possessor a son of God and an heir of heaven. It brings him into communion
with the mind of the Infinite, and opens to him the rich treasures of
the universe.  COL114

Jesus defined eternal life. To experientially, progressively
know . . . God, and his Son, Jesus Christ, is eternal life. In other
words, eternal life is the ongoing knowledge of the Father and the Son.
[Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown Commentary]

Eternal life, as defined here by Jesus, involves the experience
of knowing the only true God through His Son (cf. Matt. 11:27). It
is a personal relationship of intimacy which is continuous and
dynamic. The word know (gino4sko4sin) here in the present tense, is often
used in the Septuagint and sometimes in the Greek New Testament to
describe the intimacy of a sexual relationship (e.g., Gen 4:1, "lay";
Matt. 1:25, "had... union"). Thus a person who knows God has an intimate
personal relationship with Him. And that relationship is eternal, not
temporal. [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

The Old Testament regularly uses know for sexual knowledge.
"Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bore Cain" (Gen 4:1).
Now the knowledge of husband and wife is the most intimate there can
be. Husband and wife are no longer two; they are one flesh. The
sexual act itself is not the important thing; the important thing is
the intimacy of heart and mind and soul which in true love precede
that act. To know God is therefore not merely to have intellectual
knowledge of him; it is to have an intimate personal relationship with
him, which is like the nearest and dearest relationship in life.
[Barclay Commentary]

Those that are brought into union with Christ, and live a life
of communion with God in Christ, know, in some measure, by
experience, what eternal life is,... The knowledge of God and Christ leads to
life eternal; this is the way in which Christ gives eternal life, by
the knowledge of him that has called us <2 Peter 1:3>, and this is
the way in which we come to receive it.... To know him as our Creator,
and to love him, obey him, submit to him, and trust in him, as our
owner ruler, and benefactor,-- to devote ourselves to him as our
sovereign Lord, depend upon him as our chief good, and direct all to his
praise as our highest end,-- this is life eternal. (Matthew Henry's

This is the source of eternal life; or it is in this manner that
it is to be obtained. The knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus
Christ is itself a source of unspeakable and eternal joy.... The word
"know" here, as in other places, expresses more than a mere speculative
acquaintance with the character and perfections of God. "It includes all the
impressions on the mind and life which a just view of God and of the Saviour
is fitted to produce." It includes, of course, love, reverence,
obedience, honor, gratitude, supreme affection. "To know God as he is" is
to know and regard him as a lawgiver, a sovereign, a parent, a
friend. It is to yield the whole soul to him, and strive to obey his
law.... Simply to have heard that there is a Saviour is not to know it.
To have been taught in childhood and trained up in the belief of it
is not to know it. To know him is to have a just, practical view of
him in all his perfections as God and man; as a mediator; as a
prophet, a priest, and a king. It is to feel our need of such a Saviour,
to see that we are sinners, and to yield the whole soul to him,
knowing that he is a Saviour suited to our needs, and that in his hands
our souls are safe. In this verse is contained the sum and essence
of the Christian religion, as it is distinguished from all the
schemes of idolatry and philosophy, and all the false plans on which men
have sought to obtain eternal life. (Barnes' Notes)

Merrill Tenney suggests that "life is active involvement with
environment; death is the cessation of involvement with the environment." A
worm has an earthly life, in that its environment is the dirt in
which it lives. It has no capacity to interact with an environment of
water or air.
 Similarly human beings have biological life that enables them to
interact with the biosphere: the realm of life on earth. But human beings
have no native capacity to interact with the realm of the spiritual
and eternal. Unless they have come to know God through Jesus Christ,
and have been given eternal life by God.
 What an insight into the nature of our "eternal life." It is not
simply endless. It is the capacity now to be involved with God: to
speak to Him, to be guided by Him, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
We live with our feet on the ground. But our native environment now
is eternity, and our primary relationship is with God. [The 365-Day
Devotional Commentary]

We can know some things about God by observing His creation; but
in order to know God, Himself, this verse says that Jesus Christ
must reveal Him to us.  If you are a born again believer, it is
because Jesus Christ revealed Himself to you:  He opened your spiritual
eyes to see; He unplugged your spiritual ears to hear; He softened
your heart to respond.  Because we are chosen, we should respond by
searching out for ourselves all that is involved in being a child of the
Living God.  There is so much we do not yet understand about our new
life; there is even more that we do not understand about our new
Father.  Begin today by determining to know Jesus Christ better each
day. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re Luk.10:22]

No man, without divine aid, can attain to this knowledge of God.
The apostle says that "the world by wisdom knew not God." 5T737-41

In Psa.46:10 the Lord calls us to silence and inactivity if we
want to know Him intimately. If it were not necessary, He would not
admonish us to do it. The language is so simple and direct and yet we
continue to rattle off non-stop chatter as we rush along the fast-track
going our own way!  Why do we do that? It takes self discipline and
the help of the Holy Spirit to be silent.  Even if we close our
mouths, our minds race from one thing to another:  the unexpected
meetings; the unending errands; the unwritten letters; and the unreturned
phone calls. When is the last time you set aside everything else to be
still before God?  If you sincerely want to know Him intimately, you
will schedule some time soon!  How about today?  [In His Time; Walk
With Wisdom]

They walked in the sparks (their bright flashes of thought) of
their own kindling. They did not depend on the wisdom which God alone
can give. MYP186

He never insists on obedience, but when we truly see Him we will
instantly obey Him. Then He is easily Lord of our life, and we live in
adoration of Him from morning till night. [In His Time; My Utmost For His
Highest re Joh.13:13]

Men who are not saved by the grace of Christ do not live, they
only exist, (Adam Clarke Commentary)

One Sunday a plainly dressed, scholarly-looking man went into a
church in the Netherlands and took a seat near the pulpit. A few
minutes later, a woman approached the pew. Seeing the stranger, she
curtly advised him that he was in "her seat" and asked him to leave.
The man apologized and moved to one of the pews reserved for the
poor. There, he devoutly joined in the service and left afterward
without further incident.
 When the service was over, one of the woman's friends asked her
if she knew who it was whom she had ordered out of her pew. "No,"
the woman replied casually, "only some stranger, I suppose."
 To the woman's great dismay, her friend informed her "It was
King Oscar of Sweden. He is here visiting the Queen."
 People who refuse to acknowledge the existence of God simply
aren't aware of Who is walking beside them day by day. We can refuse to
recognize God, but that does not mean He ceases to exist or that He stops
reaching out to us with His great love. Although the Lord may be
invisible to us now, He is more real than anything we can see with our
natural eyes. Rest in the knowledge that God is with you today, tomorrow
and forever. [God's Little Devotional Bible]

One may think of God as the "Force" or some other abstract idea.
 And as long as an individual thinks this, there shall be no
growth in knowing God. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]