John 17: Jesus' Glory and Faithful Followers: The Power of Unity

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Reading: John 17

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)

Reflecting and Thinking
During his earthly ministry, Jesus prayed many times. He taught his disciples to pray. The longest recorded prayer from Jesus' lips is in John 17. He prays for himself, he prays for his followers, he prays believers, and he prays for the world. Jesus came for the world. He came to save the world. He died for the world. He prays for the world, realizing that his influence in the world will be determined by how his followers act and how they demonstrate unity. Scary thought!

How could the modern church reach the unity Jesus prayed for? Jesus suggests that the world's belief is dependent on how his disciples relate to one another in love and unity. Through this the world knows that God sent Jesus and that God loves the world. As you think this through, how do you describe it? How is this possible?

Heavenly Father, help your people find the way to unity. Help us understand Jesus' prayer, and make it a reality in our lives. Help us live powerful lives that declare God's existence, God's power, God's love, and that God sent Jesus. In the name of your Son, Jesus, Amen.

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Last updated March 8, 2011