17:1After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

This is the central thing. Jesus articulates here the purpose, goal, focus, intention and meaning of his mission and his life when he says to God:

this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

We are here to live in the awareness of that dimension of life Jesus calls “eternal life”. This is where we are able to “know… the only true God”. The word to “know” here is ginosko in the intimate, personal, open and deeply vulnerable sense in which Matthew uses the word when he writes of the relationship between Joseph and Mary saying that,

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took Mary as his wife, but did not know her until she had borne a son. (Matthew 1:24,25)

As we grow in our ability to live in intimate communion with the Divine, our lives, like the life of Jesus, become instruments that bring glory to the truth, beauty, and compassion we point to when we speak of God. As we open our hearts in trust to the presence of the “eternal life” which was embodied in Jesus our lives conform more deeply to that “image of God” in which we were created.

The Gospel is not another make-work-project.

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is reported to have said,

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)

We do not have to work to make ourselves become more like the people we were created to be. We do not need to exert human effort or will to become more compassionate and loving. We need to “rest” in the assurance of who we are, trust in our true identity and live in the freedom for which Christ has set us free.

What is the outcome in my life and the lives of those around me, when I exert self-will and determination in an attempt to become more like the person I was created to be?

What happens in my life when I start from a place of “rest”?