“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 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. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 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
Some could argue quite convincingly this pray was intended for us as well as the disciples. The whole – “my Prather is not for them alone…I pray for those who will believe in me through their message” – thing means us! Jesus is praying for the disciples and for those (us) who will hear and believe in the message through them. We are in the Bible!
Jesus indeed prays for us and everyone who came before and after who will believe. And the prayer isn’t for world peace, nor for social equality for all. The prayer is for oneness. That “all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.” This is why I continue to argue for the agenda of the Bible — making disciples and becoming one with the Father, rather than the agenda of some of our liberal churches — social justice/equality for all. One puts the focus on God, the other on human beings.
The oneness Jesus spoke of isn’t just a pipe dream. It is a reality. The oneness created when we accept Jesus happens! If we reject him, we remain empty vessels, without purpose, seeking happiness in so many directions. But if we follow Jesus, we will have him in us just as he is in the Father. We will know a unity just as Jesus promised — “I in them and you in me…so that they may be brought to complete unity” (i.e. purpose, wholeness, and discovering meaning in life.)
The purpose of this oneness is not only for unity and relationship with God, it is also so the world might know through this testimony and thus come to believe and find purpose, meaning and hope in this world.
Oneness means an encounter with the Living God. Most recently, I enjoyed this encounter at summer camp. Not only did I laugh and play and have fellowship with other believers, but in worship I encountered God powerfully and consistently. Each night he revealed himself in a similar but unique manner. Sometimes he was soft and gentle, other times convicting and convincing. But always faithful, loving and abiding. As his people loved him, so he loved us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Oneness means we encounter him regularly in our daily lives. We depend upon the Father, trusting in the Son, and filled up with the Holy Spirit who brings us into complete union with the Trinity.
Are you missing out on this oneness? Call upon Christ Jesus today. He is the gateway to knowing God.
“O Lord God, you are good. In my brokenness and sin, you still redeem me! In my messy-ness and muck, you pull me up. For decades you have been faithful to me, not once turning away. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill up your church. Bring revival to your land. Consume us with your passion and let your fire fall upon us. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen