Just before he was arrested, Jesus prayed a long prayer. He prayed for himself as he faced his final journey to the cross. He prayed for his faithful disciples. And then he prayed, in the passage below, for all of us, all those who would come to know him, at any time ever in the future, through the evangelism and example of the small band of men who were his disciples. He prayed that we would “be in” the Father and the Son, and he prayed that the world would see God in us, because we are in him. But the most powerful thing Jesus prayed for, was that all those who would come to know him would experience a perfect unity. A unity so perfect that the world would have no choice but to acknowledge that the Lord sent his only son, whom he loved, and also, that the Lord loves us as much as he loves his own son, our saviour, Jesus Christ.
John 17:20-26 NLT
“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
I find myself astonished that Jesus prayed for me just before he died on the cross. He prayed that I would know him and be born again to a fresh, new life, sustained by his word and his way. And he prayed that I might never be alone again. My goal therefore is to continue to dwell deeper and deeper in Jesus and to encourage others to do the same. But above all, it want to encourage my fellow Christians to remember and seek out and experience the perfect unity Jesus prayed for us to experience. I know, because Jesus says so in the passage above, that if we can find a greater level of unity as Christians, then the world would stand back in amazement at the power and glory of the living God revealed among his people.
2 Samuel 13:1-39, John 17:1-26, Psalms 119:81-96, Proverbs 16:6-7