Jesus prayed earnestly for His disciples before He was led away, betrayed. Before the sinless had to die for the sinful, Jesus actually prayed for us.
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; (John 17:20)
Among the many teachings in this chapter, two related themes stood out for me,
i) Jesus and the Father are one.
ii) We, as disciples of Christ, also ought to be one.
For many of us, the first point may not be difficult to understand. God is spirit; and we have understood from the Bible that Jesus Christ is God coming in the flesh to fulfil the work of salvation on the cross. He went about His Father’s business, and at this point in time when He made the prayer, the work is about to finish…
What really strikes me, though, was the number of times Jesus prayed for His disciples to be one, just as the Father and Son are one.
“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.” (John 17:11)
“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:21-23)
God desires that the Body of Christ (i.e. the Church) be one. And the oneness is just like how Jesus Christ and God are one.
As I thought about the imperfections of the church as we see it today… I cannot help but grew discouraged, wondering: What is this oneness? What is this unity? How can we profess that we are one when we aren’t even talking to each other?
However, my husband gave a reply that contained the simple truth: “As long as the believers know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom was sent…” (John 17:3)
Indeed, as long as believers continue to hold fast the Word of God,
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.“ (John 17:17)
and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us,
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26)
we will be kept as One.
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Eph 4:13)