Here we come to the core of Knowing Jesus as His Bride, the Bible, and our walk in the Spirit. My dad taught me this very early on, but I was not ready to understand it then. I barely understand it now. It is glorious beyond my imaginings. But this is the key to the Gospel, the amazing plan of God from the beginning of time. Jesus came to call us and prepare us for this.
…this is eternal life, to know you and Jesus the Messiah whom you have sent [John 17:3]
The word used here for know is ginosko which means to understand completely. But it has another common meaning and I am convinced that this additional meaning is part of what Jesus is praying here. Let’s take a little side step. Knowing in scripture is commonly used to describe the most intimate relationships between husband and wife.
Adam knew Eve and she conceived and bore Cain [Genesis 4:1] • Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son she called Seth [Genesis 4:25]
The word here is yada which in Hebrew means to know by observing, thinking, and experiencing. Nelson’s Expository Dictionary explains that it also means that the knower (in this case us) has “actual involvement with or in the object of knowing”. The knower has direct contact which is why this word is also used to describe sexual relationships.
This is knowing of deep involvement and direct knowledge. In the New Testament ginosko means very much the same thing. It means to understand completely in a relationship. Vine wrote that this knowing is obtained “not merely with intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit…”
So we are not wrong to rephrase the core truth of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:3, by saying eternal life is knowing God as a husband knows his wife, as a wife knows her husband. This central statement comes at the beginning of Jesus’ priestly prayer—John 17.
In John 17 Jesus goes on to explain verse 3 more completely in verse 20 & 21. After talking about how this knowing applied to His relationships with His disciples, he prays for their protection and sends them out to do what he did when He came to us. He continues with statements that apply to us directly. Here we see that this applies directly to us—the believers of the 21st century.
I am praying not only for these who you gave me in my life here on earth but also for all who will ever believe in me through their reports. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. I pray that they may be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. [john 17:20–21]
Now I ask you, do you think that this priestly prayer of Jesus while He prepared to die was answered completely? Of course it was and is! During His ministry, his anointing by the Holy Spirit was so complete that His prayers were always answered. He was the Lord God, the Messiah sent by God. If He prayed we would be one—we are one.