"For You granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those You have given him." (John 17:2)

Jesus is continuing his prayer to the Supreme Being. How do we know this is part of Jesus' prayer to God?
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: (John 17:1)
However, this part of Jesus' prayer has been grossly mistranslated, and this translation has severely corrupted the meaning of this part of Jesus' prayer.

The first element of mistranslation is "For You granted him authority over all people...".

The word "people" has been translated from the Greek word σάρξ (sarx), which does not mean people. It means, according to the lexicon, "flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts;" and "the body of a man."

The word σάρξ (sarx) also relates to "the animal nature;" and stated by Strong's lexicon: "the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin."

In fact, this word can in no way refer to the word "people," as in Jesus having "authority over all people."

Let's stop a minute and consider this carefully. Why would this word be translated to "people" when it obviously doesn't mean "people" at all?

This happens to relate specifically to the agenda of the ecclesiastical sectarian institutions that were borne of political means and political objectives and maintained as such over the centuries, beginning with the assembly of the Roman Catholic Church by the Roman government and Emperors such as Constantine.

And what is that agenda? To gain followers at practically any cost. Even if it means bending scripture.

In the beginning, during the early Fourth Century AD, the purpose was to organize the Church and its teachings in such a way that communicated that Jesus was God and Christianity was the only true religion.

In order to cement that conclusion there was a decree developed - the Nicene Creed - which bore the specifics: That Jesus was God "the Son" - part of the Holy Trinity.

Why the need for this interpretive document? Were the Scriptures not enough?

The bishops who gathered in Rome from around the Middle East and Europe were not all in agreement on this conclusion. Many argued vehemently against this position that Jesus was God - but they lost, because Constantine wanted this conclusion, and applied his political muscle to it. He was a smart political tactician: If he was going to get behind a religion he was going to make that religion the greatest of all - and make its spokesperson God.

Those who argued against this conclusion were simply satisfied with seeing Jesus for who Jesus said he was: God's representative. God's perfect loving servant, sent to us specifically by God to bring us back to Him.

This is confirmed by Jesus' own statements:
"My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John 12:49)
"As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)
These statements and many others - including this very prayer by Jesus (why would God pray to Himself?) - indicates that Jesus is not the Supreme Being, but rather, God's loving servant.

In John 9:4 above, Jesus clarifies, "we must do the works of Him who sent me." This is what a loving servant does for his master. And the very act of speaking on behalf of someone - "the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken" - indicates the type of relationship that exists between a master and his loving servant.

This attempt by ecclesiastical sectarian institutions to artificially prop up Jesus illustrates the upside-down feature of this physical world - those of us in the physical world like to translate greatness into being in charge over others. Never mind that Jesus relished in doing God's will rather than his own - being God's loving servant. Never mind that Jesus identified himself as the servant of humanity. As long as these institutions can prop him up so that somehow they are left in charge of others, they are satisfied.

So what did Jesus really say in this part of his prayer if he didn't say God has granted him authority over all people?

Remember as stated above, the word Jesus used - σάρξ (sarx) - defined above, as  "flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts;" "the body of a man;" "the animal nature;" "the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin."

This means most certainly that Jesus was saying that the Supreme Being had given him the ability to command control over the propensity for sin - the use of the physical body for self-centered enjoyment. Materialism, in other words.

Self-centered enjoyment is, in fact, the reason for these physical bodies. We were given these physical bodies because we rejected our loving relationship with God in the spiritual realm. We wanted to get away from God. We became envious of God. We wanted to enjoy ourselves and be "like God." So He tossed us out of the spiritual realm and gave us these physical bodies to play out our self-centered desires. This is the clear message of the symbolism of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit.

These physical bodies are not us. We are the living spirit-persons who dwell within these bodies. The physical body is a constantly changing vessel. Most of its cells live no longer than five years and its molecules are recycled constantly. It is like looking at a waterfall. The water within the waterfall is constantly changing.

Meanwhile, we are still the same person, even though our body changes. This is why aging is so frustrating for us. We see our body aging but we do not feel older. We feel like we are the same person we were when our body was in its 20s. This is because the spirit-person within is not the physical body at all. The spirit-person within is eternal. We are ageless.

But due to God's arrangement, when the spirit-person comes into the physical world and dwells within the physical body, we begin to identify with these bodies. This is due to the fact that we want to achieve self-centered desires, and our bodies give us this facility to act without having to be aware of the existence of the Supreme Being. This is also described symbolically in Genesis.

These physical bodies allow us to ignore God, in other words. They allow us to pretend to be someone we are not for awhile. They allow us to pretend that we are great lawyers, politicians, movie stars, rock stars, youtube video stars, business moguls or even great firemen or bosses. They also allow us the ultimate desire - pretending to be the creator of others, as we can use these bodies to procreate children. This procreation ability of these bodies lends us the ability to think that we are "creator" and we created beautiful children.

But all of these pretend roles - including parenthood - are fleeting and temporary. They do not last. As parents, our kids grow up and flip us off as they take off to party with their friends. As movie stars, we get old and soon have to act in the bit parts as the old lady in the rest home. As rock stars, we soon find ourselves playing guitars on stage in our wheelchairs. As business moguls we find our businesses fading in popularity, being taken over by internet businesses. As youtube video stars we soon fade to the next craze online - maybe the newest cat trick.

As for any other role we might pretend to play for awhile - we eventually have to retire from it, and then our bodies eventually die and we leave everything behind including our family and all our possessions and any temporary roles we played.

Eventually - yes, we are talking years - just a few years away - we will leave everything in this world behind.

Yet even though we can easily see that our bodies will all die in the coming years and we will have to leave all these temporary roles and their related achievements behind - we still strive for them. We still think that they will make us happy. We still seek these achievements, along with the temporary fleeting sensory flashes of the physical world - topped by the orgasm, which is the most fleeting of all.

And despite the fact that none of these sensory flashes or temporary roles satisfy us, we continue to strive for them. We continue to seek the next flash or the next achievement.

This continual desire for the next self-centered achievement or flash is what drives us because this world is set up by the Supreme Being - programmed by Him - to give us the illusion this world will make us happy. These illusory desires thus grab us and hold us, driven by our self-centeredness - and our identification with these temporary physical bodies.

The physical world, in fact, is hell. Hell is that place its citizens are suffering emptiness and loneliness in a self-centered world while competing with others to achieve self-centered materialistic goals. Hell is that place where we ignore the suffering around us as we pretend that the next thing will satisfy us. Hell is that place where people hurt others - knowingly or unknowingly - on their way to achieving their self-centered dreams. Hell is that place where the body we wear is constantly in a state of either pain, hunger, sickness, growing pains, old age or otherwise in need.

Hell is also that place where we become subservient to those who always seem to demand more than we can give. Whether it is an unreasonable boss or employer, unreasonable stockholders, unreasonable family members, unreasonable neighbors, unreasonable customers or otherwise, the demands of those around us in this world are always more than we can keep up with. We can never satisfy them no matter how much we give. Hell is that place where everyone is empty and lonely inside yet everyone pretends they are happy. Hell is that place where everyone wants someone else to satisfy their emptiness, so we seek to control and dominate others.

This is the world of "flesh" - the "animal nature" that leads to "sinfulness" (self-centeredness) that Jesus is referring to in his prayer. We can also sum up the meaning of this word with the concept of "materialism."

Jesus isn't talking about having "authority over all people." He is talking about being given the ability to not be controlled by the physical world and its various illusions: Having authority over these illusions means not being controlled by them.

"Authority" is being translated from the Greek word ἐξουσία (exousia) = "power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases;" "leave or permission;" "physical and mental power; "the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises."

And "all" comes from πᾶς (pas) = "each, every, any, all, the whole..."

σάρξ (sarx) = see above - "flesh;" "body;" "animal nature."

Having the power over one's animal nature or the illusory nature of the physical world is given by the Supreme Being. How is that?

Love for God. By loving the Supreme Being a person can have authority over self-centeredness. They can have authority over desires to gain self-centered things of this world, whether they be sex, wealth, power, fame or authority over others. These desires melt when a person is in love with God. These desires - along with the need for others to make them happy - fade away when ones purpose becomes pleasing the Supreme Being and serving the Supreme Being.

Jesus is God's pure loving servant. His love has given him the ability to have the power over materialism - the desire to be happy in a self-centered manner, away from God.

Love of God is not just a "thing." It is a relationship. A relationship with a Person - the Supreme Being, who reciprocates that relationship. Remember that Jesus states that this ability to have authority over "flesh" was granted to Jesus by God: "For You granted him..."

This is part of the reciprocation of the loving relationship with God. God reciprocates love and loving service by allowing His loving servant the ability to counteract the illusory nature of the physical world. Jesus is clearly stating that this ability is granted by God.

And this is not the only thing Jesus says is granted by God. Consider very carefully the last part of this sentence: "that he might give eternal life to all those You have given him."

It is clear here that Jesus says his ability to "give eternal life" to others comes from God. And the phrase "those You have given him" means those people are steered to Jesus by God. The Supreme Being has given Jesus this ability and also brought him those upon whom that ability is exercised.

This is the way our beautiful Supreme Being works. If He wanted to force Himself upon us He could at any time. But He doesn't. For those who desire to return to Him, He sends His loving servant to bring us Home to Him. Then He guides those who want to come home to His representative.

And Jesus is clarifying this. He is stating that the Supreme Being gave Jesus the authority to not only represent Him, but to change people's hearts, giving them "eternal life." How does Jesus do this?

Jesus does this with his teachings. He amazed people with his teachings. Just consider this statement from the Book of Matthew:
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching... (Matt. 7:28)
This indicates clearly that Jesus' teachings had phenomenal power. They were able to change a person's heart from being self-centered to being a loving servant of God. This is played out as we find Jesus' disciples like Peter and James became great teachers and also changed the hearts of many.

Consider carefully what "eternal life" is. The word "eternal" comes from the Greek word αἰώνιος (aiōnios), meaning "without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be."

And the word "life" comes from ζωή (zōē), meaning "the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate - every living soul; and "of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical..."

This indicates that what Jesus is describing is resuming our innate spiritual identity - one that never dies - and that which is complete and spiritually satisfying.

This is none other than the state of existence of loving the Supreme Being and serving Him in love. This is our natural position - one that most of us have forgotten. And Jesus has come to help us turn to the Supreme Being and renew our relationship with Him. Jesus' teachings quite simply asked us to give our hearts to God, and love Him. Serve Him. Praise Him. Care for Him:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)



(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)