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 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]