During my childhood in East Tennessee, we had a neighbor named Bruce Walker. Mr. Walker was a delightful old man and an incredible whittler. As a child, I spent a lot of time sitting under Mr. Walker’s carport watching him whittle down pieces of cedar with his special whittling knife. Toward the end of his life, Mr. Walker called me over to his house one day. He pulled out his special whittling knife and began to show me how to use it. After a thorough demonstration, he folded up the blade and handed it to me. I’ve kept that knife till this day. It is one of my prized possessions. I’ll never forget that old man, his kindness to a child, or his wisdom in showing me how to use his gift before giving it to me.
A few years ago, while studying the first chapter of John’s Gospel, these childhood memories were brought to my remembrance by the Holy Spirit. According to the Apostle John, eternal life is found in Christ and the life of Christ is “the light of men” (John 1:4). Christ’s life was the perfect demonstration of how God intends for “every man” to live (John 1:9). Before God gave us His incredible gift—the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23)—He sent His Son to show us how to live it. Although I’ll always prize the pocketknife Mr. Walker gave me, I’ll forever praise my God for eternal life and His beloved Son who showed me how to live it.