John: Unity

John 17:1–26

Ever wonder what Jesus prayed for? Ever wished for a peek inside Jesus’ prayer journal? Ever wanted to eavesdrop on a conversation between Jesus and the Father?

The previous three chapters have all been directed to his disciples, but here, Jesus directs his comments to God. After suggesting the disciples could have anything from God if they asked in Jesus’ name, now Jesus shows what that looks like. He provides an example, a model, a pattern to follow.

Asking in Jesus’ name doesn’t mean you just tack on “in Jesus’ name” at the end of your prayer, like those are the magic words for getting what you want. Asking in Jesus’ name means to pray in the spirit of Jesus, to pray like Jesus prayed, to pray in such a way that God might think we were Jesus.

And here, as Jesus walks from dinner to the Garden of Gethsemani, he prays with his disciples. He prays for them. In a few short hours, everything they have known will be turned on its head. They’ll all scatter and flee for their lives. And Jesus prays for them. There’s a closeness in his words, intimacy. There’s almost a motherliness about them. Jesus likes these guys. And he’s worried about them and what’s about to happen to them.

And not just these surrounding him.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.

That includes you and me. On the way to his betrayal, Jesus prayed for us and for the entire future Church. What he prays is no small thing. He asks that the Church might experience the same unity experienced by the Trinity.

On the night before his crucifixion, the one thing Jesus wants for his followers, present and all future, is their unity. Maybe we should just sit wit that for awhile.

What about? What do you think?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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