United in Love
May I be one with You, Lord, as I meet You in Your Word.
Read John 17:20–26
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 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. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 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.
24 “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.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 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.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWho do you need to be reconciled to? Forgive? Bear with?
Jesus now explicitly prays for you (20). And he prays for unity. Unity is nice. It’s better than conflict. But that’s not why Jesus prays for it. He prays for unity because the Father, Son and Spirit are one. Try to draw a diagram of the tumbling language of who is in whom in these few verses. Every believer is “in Christ,” and therefore we’re united to one another. We are brought into the Father’s family and so we should show the family likeness.
But living that out is hard work. If it were automatic, would Jesus have to pray for it? Our sin separates us from each other as well as from God, just as it did for Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.
And yet we are all saved by the same Savior, loved by the same Father and indwelt by the same Spirit. And the Father loves each of us as much as he loves his own Son (23). Think of how the Father loves the Son (perfectly, eternally, intimately and so on) and let it sink in that that love is for you!
The more assured we are of our own identity and security in God’s love, the more we can love one another. And again, this is so that the world will know Jesus was sent for them too (21,23).
How will you allow God’s love to overflow from you to others today?
Generous Father, help my heart grasp more of Your love for me (Eph. 3:17–19).