John 17:1-5 – Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you; even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him. This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do. Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.”
This passage begins one of the most amazing parts of the Bible. We get to hear a conversation between the Son and the Father.
If you were wondering where Jesus refers to Himself as the Messiah, here is one of the places. Notice that He says, “him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” “Christ” is not a last name. It is a Jewish title and “Christ” is an English translation of the Greek translation of the Hebrew. The word in Hebrew is: “Messiah.” So, we see here, that Jesus did refer to Himself as the Hebrew Messiah. Some don’t believe that Jesus referred to Himself in this way, but it is clearly said here in Jesus’ prayer. Jesus does mention that He is the Messiah many times in His many “figures of speech” as well.
We also find out here that “eternal life” is defined as knowing the Father and the Son. It really is who you know that keeps you from going to Hell. Notice also that Jesus says that the Father is “the only true God.” Here we see that the God of the Jews is the only God there is according to the Bible. Some people claim that going to a specific church makes you a part of Jesus. In reality, it is only by knowing God personally that you can make it to Heaven and be a part of Jesus.
There is only one way to really know God and that is for God to give you to Jesus as we read here. If you want to believe in Him, that means that He has given you to Jesus because the Bible also says “whoever believes in Him” will be saved. Paul says later that we only know Jesus in part, but someday we will know completely.
Jesus says another very revealing and interesting thing here when He says that He was in glory with the Father “before the world existed.” That can only mean that Jesus is God because in the beginning, God was the only one there. So, we see that, Jesus, in His prayer, refers to His own deity.
It’s good to remember these verses when people attempt to tell you that Jesus never said He was God or that He ever claimed to be the Messiah. If a person claims to be a Bible believer, they must believe that Jesus is God and the Messiah because that’s what it says. If they don’t, then how can they be sure of anything about Jesus since the Bible is where His life is described? The Bible may not always be easy to understand and accept, but has proven itself to be God’s word.