Wednesday

“As you, Father, 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.” (v. 21b)

John 17:20-26 Wednesday 21 January 2015

Psalm: Psalm 85


Background

Today's passage is Jesus' prayer for those who will believe inhim through his disciples' word; he prayed "they may all be one"(v. 21). Earlier in this Gospel, Jesus spoke of being the goodshepherd of the sheep, of bringing "other sheep that do not belongto this fold", and of them all being "one flock" (John10:11-16).

The unity for which Jesus prayed was a sharing in the life ofGod. This unity, Jesus said, will also enable the world to believethat the Father sent him; this parallels an earlier part of theprayer where Jesus spoke of his disciples as those who havebelieved that the Father sent him (John17:8).

In verse 23, unity is also related to the world knowing that Godhas loved the disciples as well as loving Jesus. This echoes thenew commandment Jesus gave to his disciples after he had washedtheir feet (John 13:34). He commanded them to love oneanother as he had loved them and said, 'By this everyone will knowthat you are my disciples, if you have love for one another' (John13:35).

The prayer also concludes on the theme of love: Jesus spokefirst of being loved by his Father "before the foundation of theworld" (verse 24) and then of making the Father's name known to hisdisciples "so that the love with which you have loved me may be inthem, and I in them" (verse 26).


To Ponder

  • Jesus prays that his first disciples and those who will believein him through their word will be one so that the world may believe(verse 21) and know (verse 23) that his Father has sent him. How doyou see the relationship between the unity and the mission of theChurch?
  • What do you think are the implications of Christian unity beingfounded on a sharing in the life of God?
  • What examples do you know of Christian unity enabling the worldto believe?
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