No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise him up on the last day. It has been written in the Prophets: They shall all be taught by God. So whoever listens and learns from the Father comes to me.
For no one has seen the Father except the One who comes from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life. Though your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, they died. But here you have the bread from heaven, so that you may eat of it, and not die.
I am the living bread from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever. The bread I shall give is my flesh, and I will give it for the life of the world.”
Most Christians, when they hear the expression “eternal life,” spontaneously think of a life which will last forever, since the dictionary definition of eternal is “lasting forever” (Collins). But in John’s gospel the expression “eternal life” refers less to duration (no limit in time) as to quality (somehow pertaining to God’s nature). Here a footnote of the New Jerusalem Bible explains the word “eternal” thus: “a word which denotes a quality properly divine which puts this life beyond what is corporeal, beyond time and beyond measure… it is promised to believers (cf. 2 Cor 4:18), but already given to them… It will be completed by the resurrection” (footnote j on Jn 3:15).
In other words, even in this life the true believers in Christ live a life of intimacy with Christ which is quite unique and which is a source of deep peace, contentment—and even joy. And this intimacy only deepens with time. So much so that, when death comes, the true believers are not surprised to find themselves in the arms of God, because they always knew in the depth of their hearts that faith had already placed them there…
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