John 17:20-26 (CEV)
20 I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. 21 I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.
22 I have honored my followers in the same way that you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one. 23 I am one with them, and you are one with me, so that they may become completely one. Then this world’s people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.
24 Father, I want everyone you have given me to be with me, wherever I am. Then they will see the glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the world was created. 25 Good Father, the people of this world don’t know you. But I know you, and my followers know that you sent me. 26 I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more. Then the love that you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them.
How does it make you feel to know that Jesus prays for his followers?
Does that make you feel odd? Unworthy? Privileged?
I think I probably feel a combination of those – and rather awed. But yet it seems so obvious. Why wouldn’t Jesus be praying for us?
Yet the important thing is what he is praying for.
I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us.
Within that statement are three wishes:
- Jesus wants us to be one with each other
As Christians, we are not individuals each ploughing our own course – we have a corporate work to be done – of being God’s presence in the world. Faith is personal, but not solitary. It is a team activity. All of those who follow God supporting each other and working to the same end. We will all have our own ways and our own places we are called to be, but we do it as one.
- He and his Father are one with each other
Jumping ahead to Trinity Sunday, but Jesus makes it quite clear that he and his Father are as one. You’ve seen and encountered one, you have the other too. Their is no difference between their substance. What Jesus says and does is what God is.
- He wants us to be one with them
Just as being a Christian is not solitary from other Christians, it is not done apart from God either. Our ways should be God’s ways. People should look at us and see God. Hmmmm – that’s a sobering thought…
I long to be one with you,
that my life may show
may I be one
with those you call me to live alongside,
that we may support and care for one another
together in you