“Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, - M - Meditation on a Miraculous Merger
Please note the following is an excerpt from the book, “Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, of which I’m Editor.
- M - Meditation on a Miraculous Merger, by Merold, Ben
“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” - John 17:21
Our scripture text records Jesus praying for a miraculous merger of the human with the divine. Due to human failures, some have referred to it as “Our Lord’s unanswered prayer”. It’s true, his prayer has not yet been answered fully. You see, in some ways, the answer is dependent on the church’s response to her Lord.
Beyond the miraculous merger effected by the Spirit of God with the redeemed human spirit when we are born again, can there be a miraculous merger between separated parts of the Body of Christ? There is nothing wrong with the word merger in connection with the church as long as it refers to bringing together what belongs together. Let me illustrate. Two streams may come together to form a great river. However, there is a problem if one stream is made up of pure water and the other contains toxic liquid. This kind of merger results in the pollution of that which is good. But there can be a mighty merger when churches realize they are the Body of Christ and that Jesus Christ is the head of the Body. This will lead to obedience to the Word of God; and that obedience will lead to Biblical unity. This is a miraculous merger because it is brought about by the inspired Word of God. Allow me to say three things about such a merger:
It is memorable! This prayer of Jesus was given the night before His crucifixion. He knew that He would be nailed to the cross the next day. But even though He faced death, He put us first. Verse 20 makes it plain that He prays for those who will believe in Him by the Gospel message handed down from His disciples. He wants us to have the same kind of unity that He has with the Father. This will result in a very memorable miraculous merger indeed!
It is meaningful! Jesus prays for this unity of believers for a very definite purpose stated in verse 21 - “so that the world may believe that You have sent me”. As we read this prayer, we should become convicted of the failure of the church to evangelize the world. Isn’t Jesus implying that this task cannot be completed until this miraculous merger takes place? This makes the purpose of His prayer all the more meaningful!
It is momentous! The word “momentous” means “very important”. We are to work and pray for this unity now. It is necessary to the success of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20. This miraculous merger of the Body of Christ will begin to take place when God’s people put God’s Word ahead of their private opinions. It is almost impossible to think about any subject without forming opinions. And we all have the right to our opinions (as long as we have the humility to admit that not all of our opinions may be right!). Division thrives on opinions that add to or take away from the Word of God. The teaching of the Word of God must come before our opinions. Can we agree on the basic doctrine of the New Testament? Yes, I believe we can! It is still true, when people take the Bible for what it says, they have unity.
Study the Bible for the basis of unity in your life and the life of your church, and pray earnestly for this miraculous merger in the Body of Christ.
Suggested prayer: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for Christians everywhere to unite on Bible teaching. I pray that my own local congregation will have a unity of purpose in fulfilling the Great Commission, and that I will always be a catalyst for Biblical unity. Amen!
Merold, Dr. Ben - St. Charles, MO - Senior Minister, Harvester Christian Church since 1991. Educated at Johnson Bible College and Lincoln Christian College. Honored with the D.D. by Pacific Christian College. His Principles of Church Growth video series is rooted in the real life of growing Eastside Christian, Fullerton, CA from 185 to 3000, and Harvester Christian from 200 to 3300. 1978 NACC President. He and his wife Pat have five children.
The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control... If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:22,23,25
How much evidence does my life give of the miraculous merger of my spirit with the Spirit of God?
Pray Jesus’ prayer for: Believers in Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, MyanmarThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom (Jn.17:21) M.,