Praying Jesus' prayer for us.
Praying Jesus' prayer for us.

Unity: Jesus' Prayer

I feel like God's words give me, content for my prayer life. And, the more my prayer echoes scripture, the more likely I am to be praying according to God's will. 

When I think of John 17 and Jesus' prayer, what always jumps out at me in my memory is, it's a prayer for unity. He's praying that his, followers would be unified. What I want you to look for in this is when the prayer for unity shows up in the prayer and what is it based on.

I think we, as Christians, sometimes tend to commodify, certain qualities or attributes or virtues. And then we want to pull it out of the narrative, out of the doctrine and hold it above and say, this is really what it's all about. This is the cardinal virtue. You could almost make an idol out of a virtue by making things serve that, at least our redefinition of that virtue that, that and use it in a way that, God did not intend. 

Now this is the prayer Jesus prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

This is the end of Matthew chapter 17 verse 26. "I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. You know, there's nothing this world can offer that could be anywhere near as good as Jesus himself, God's only son taking up residence inside of me and being a constant companion. In fact, becoming, the essence and the quality and the driver of my life, so that I reflect His qualities and who He is. That's a pretty amazing thing we're being invited into here, that we might be filled with the very presence of God.

And, I thank God for that today. I don't know how the matters of the day will go. I have a feeling if it's like most days, it's going to be a mix. But, may it be able to be said at the end of the day that my Lord is with me and in me and has been acting through me and that I have reflected, His priorities and His qualities in the midst of whatever adversity I face. That's my prayer for myself.

Dr. Scott Sherwood

Unity According to Jesus’ Prayer in John 17

Recorded: Wednesday, May 15th, 2024 (Morning Service)

Dr. Scott Sherwood serves as President for Nazarene Bible College. 

Published: 05/17/2024

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