Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: Numbers 4-7
New Testament Reading: John 17
I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me (John 17:20-21).
Jesus concludes His teaching in the upper room with a prayer. This is the greatest prayer ever recorded anywhere in Scripture. We are privileged to listen in as God the Son speaks with God the Father, just before He is about to give His life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus begins this prayer by praying for Himself, for the ministry He accomplished, and for His expected return to heaven and the glory He had with the Father. Next, He prays for His disciples, for the work they are to do, and for their protection.
Then the Lord’s attention focuses on the future as He prays for all Christians throughout history, including us who live today. Imagine that! The cross is but a few hours away. Jesus knew what lies ahead of Him and yet He took the time to pray for you and for me.
Jesus’ prayer for us is not for uniformity of practice, it is not for unanimity of thinking, it is not for union between organizations. Jesus prays for unity, a oneness of heart, of faith, and of purpose. A oneness that can only come through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ desire is that all Christians live in unity with our heavenly Father and in harmony with other Believers. Notice the emphasis on intimacy. Jesus has a close personal relationship with His Father in Heaven, and He wants your fellowship with other Christians to be as close. Certainly, Christians have their differences, but we have so much more in common. We trust the same Savior and share the same glory. One day we will share the same heaven! This should encourage us to love one another and promote true spiritual unity.
As a result, the world will know God and the love He has for them. The world cannot see God, but they can see Christians. What they see in us is what they will believe about God. If they see love and unity, then they will believe that God is love.
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