A People of Love
Amazing God, You created me, and Your Son has re-created me. Today, may Your Spirit develop this new life in me.
Read John 17:20-26
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Unity is meant to be observable … by common adherence to the apostolic gospel” (D. A. Carson). Thank God for the spiritual unity Christians enjoy.
Now Jesus’ prayer reaches into the future. No longer does he speak of his own life, or of the disciples he leaves, but the chain extends, linking a community of faith across many generations–“those who will believe in me through their message” (20). Like ripples spreading across a pond, the good news runs around the world. Two of this Gospel’s main themes come together here. One is a strong concern with the life of the church: “Love one another” (13:34). The second is the cosmic scope of the story: “Through him all things were made … God so loved the world” (1:3; 3:16). The whole world is the horizon of God’s purpose; and after Jesus has left, the church is the focus for that purpose to work itself out.
When Jesus prays for the world to believe, he prays that the church will make the Good News credible. The people of Jesus are a living billboard for the Lord. There are two aspects to this: our commitment to the truth Jesus gives us (16-19) and our commitment to the people he gives us (21-23). Truth makes us holy and gives us something to share; love makes us attractive and gives us the means to share it. Christian love commends Christ, because he is the one who gives it to us from God (26).
As I reflect on this prayer, I think of Christians who seem transparent with goodness and commend the Gospel to many by the quality of their living; and my heart rejoices. Yet I recall, too, that Christian quarrels and ill-feeling can bring the Gospel into deep disrepute. This prayer reminds me to audit my own life, and to seek truer unity and surer love among the people of Jesus. He cared about this. So should we.
The writer, in response to Jesus praying for unity and love amongst his followers, mentions the need to, “…audit his own life….” Take a moment to do the same. Repent and recommit where needed.
Lord Jesus, I need to get back on track with You. I release the Holy Spirit within, to bring glory to Your name through me.