Thursday, May 25, 2017

John 17:1-11 Jesus' Prayer for Unity

KEY TEXT: John 17:11 "And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one."

KEY THOT: Jesus prayed for his disciples on the eve of His departure from this world. He prayed specifically for their unity: "keep them in  your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one" (v.11). Jesus' desire for our unity is not just because it looks good to the world, but because the Godhead itself is Three-Persons-in-Unity. Which means that the reason we as a church must be one is because it is the most God-like characteristic as a schurch. The world is characterized by disunity, disharmony and division. In contrast, the kingdom of God is characterized by unity when they are truly filled with the Spirit. The NT church was one of unity and power: "Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all" (Acts 4:32-33).

Not only is unity God-like. It's also the only basis for the Father, Son and Spirit to manifest Themselves in a church. The church that is united in one heart (spirit) and one soul (mind) is missional ("giving their testimony") and experiences great power and grace of the Holy Spirit in their midst. To be united in one heart is to have one vision and purpose--a common commitment to the same goal. To have one mind is to share the same mindset and values regarding the church's priority and mission. It's not just good to have spiritual unity--it is God-like and God-friendly when we are one in heart and mind. God takes delight to manifest himself in that community: "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him" (John 14:21).

Father, help us to become one as You are One in the divine Godhead. May we have one heart and mind as the Father and Son are one, so that we may attract Your presence and power into our midst. Amen.

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