Please note the following is an excerpt from “Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, of which I’m Editor.
– B – Being One in the Spirit, by Blowers, Russ
It was at dinner the night before the Cross. After hours of teaching, Jesus stands, looks up toward heaven and prays. He prays for Himself, that God will restore to Him the glory He had with the Father before the world began. He doesn't ask if there might be a Plan B. He doesn't condemn the Jews or threaten the Romans. The Son who glorified the Father these past three years asks only for the imminent privilege of being glorified in the Presence. Then He prays for the disciples, these eleven flawed but faithful men (Judas had chosen not to be chosen and opted out). He asks not that they be raptured out of the world, but that they would stay and be protected from the Enemy. He sends them out into the world just as He was sent in to do God's will.
Then He prays for us, for all the hundreds of millions of sinners who subsequently would become believers through the message the disciples would preach. He asks the Father for three "thats". Three requests on our behalf: 1) that we Christians would be one in the same intimate love that characterized Father and Son; 2) that we would experience this unity because together we would be in Christ; 3) that the world would see this oneness and love and would believe that God really did send Jesus into the world.
The realization of this beautiful unity in the Godhead has been a long time coming. The checkered history of the church records that for twenty centuries His disciples have sometimes disagreed, split, denounced, condemned, apostacized, excommunicated, shunned and "fought the good fight". And the Lord of the church who asked "that they may all be one" is still praying for us - "He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them." (Hebrews 7:25)
Does this mean that God has not answered His Son's prayer, here in verses 20 and 21? There are hundreds of sects and denominations all claiming to be the church; and the world has a hard time seeing love and unity in that kind of separation and conflict. This disunity obscures the Lord Jesus and blinds the eyes of the lost. Has Jesus' prayer been put on hold?
No, for Paul told the Ephesians, "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." (4:3) Unity is not something we have to organize, contrive, pretend or arrange. Unity is a gift, the gift of God. The Holy Spirit created this oneness on Pentecost when Peter exhorted "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)
Paul told us there is one Body, one Spirit, one Hope, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, and one God the Father. (Ephesians 4:4-6) People who believe those seven wonderful ones already have unity. When we become Christians, we don't join each other; we are joined to Jesus Christ and He makes us one in the Spirit.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for the unity of the Spirit for which Christ prayed that night in the Upper Room. Help us to keep it, practice it, and rejoice in it, until by Your grace we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of Jesus, Your Son, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, in whose name we pray.
Blowers, Dr. Russell - Indianapolis, IN - Pastor Emeritus, E. 91st Christian Church, where he served since 1951. Veteran of WW II; graduate of Ohio University (B.Sc.), Christian Theological Seminary (M.Div); honorary D.D. from Milligan College. 1975 NACC President. He and late wife Marian (dec. ’04) have 3 children (1 dec.), 4 grandchildren.
The Church of God Is One: As brethren here we meet;
For us salvation’s work is done, In Christ we stand complete.
The Church of God is one: One only Lord we know;
We worship Jesus, God’s own Son, Who came God’s love to show.
The Church of God is one: The Bible we revere;
By it all saving truth is known, And God to man brought near.
The Church of God is one: One blessed hope have we;
Our dear Redeemer’s sure return His saints to glorify.
The Church of God is one, Is one in faith and love,
Is one in the death by Jesus borne, One in His life above.
- Daniel W. Whittle (1840-1901)
How can I best demonstrate
the oneness of Christ’s church?
Pray Jesus’ prayer for:
Barbers & Beauticians
Pray Jesus’ prayer for:
Believers in Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize,
Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, British
Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Belarus
Fellowship of John 17:21
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