“…That they may become perfectly one”..
As I read John 17, I was struck by how many times Jesus referenced our “oneness” with he and the Father God. I actually went back and counted, because if I have learned one thing from Bible study classes, it’s that you should take note of repetition. Five times Jesus pleaded for our oneness!
“Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
Jesus went on to ask that not only the disciples, who he had spent so much time with, would be one with he and God, but also all of us “who will believe in me through their word” would be one. That’s us! His reasoning? That the world would believe God sent Jesus to this world, through our display of unity.
I had to stop for a minute and let those words soak in.
If you’ve ever experienced unity with other believers (or anything remotely like unity) then you know what a gift and joy it is. Meals, prayers, worship together, carrying burdens, sharing truth, celebrations, and sorrow are all part of how we unite in Christ. I’ve experienced every one of these at different times, but to realize that Jesus prayed for them on our behalf stirs something inside of me.
When Jesus talks of his unity with the Father, we can often nod our heads and agree, that of course they had it, but what about us? His example was supposed to be the norm among genuine believers in Jesus. Our togetherness and love for one another should scream to the world, that we are God’s children and that it’s so great, you’d want it too.
Fighting, divisions, and hatred have no place here.
Our mission to connect people to Jesus for life change should be like an artery running through each one of us. Our prayers for one another should mimic Jesus’ prayer that we be held in “safe-keeping and away from the evil one”. When was the last time you prayed those kind of words for your family or friends?
Lord, unify us today. We are your people and we desire to spread your glory to the nations by standing together in unity. Thank you for surrounding us with people who have experienced your good gifts and because of it, can’t wait to share them with others.