That we all may be one

John 17:9-11

“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.”

Jesus is eating His last supper with His disciples, and when the meal has ended He prays for them. Of all the things He might have asked for them from His Father, what does He choose? That they may be one as He and His Father are one.

How “one” is that? Jesus had told them earlier in the meal, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). If you want to know what the Father is like, just look at Jesus and you will see Him. That is how “one” Jesus prayed His disciples would be: that if someone looked at a disciple they would see Jesus, and thus see the Father.

But that prayer wasn’t only for the twelve – soon to be eleven – disciples. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)

Jesus was praying for us as well, and those who will come after us. He prayed that we – before we do anything else – would be one just as He and His Father are one. Why is that? He knew how important it would be, “that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me”. Look at those who call themselves Christians today: we are everything but one! The Church has no voice in our day because there are so many who call themselves the Church who cannot even agree on what is right and what is wrong – abortion, perversion…there seems to be no limit.

But it will not always be so, because this prayer of Jesus, like all of His prayers, will be answered with “Yes!”. Jesus only did (and said) what He saw His Father doing (and saying), so we know that His Church will be one when He comes to claim her as His bride.

What are we to do, then? How can we become one with Jesus? We must first grow up; we must grow beyond our desires for selfish gratification and personal status. Unity requires maturity:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

So then let us put away childish things and move on to solid food, learning and growing and maturing until we attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Not only will we become one with Him, but all that Jesus prayed will come with it: life, fruit, and growth.

Word of God: speak! Non nobis Domine+

by: Father Dana Jackson

© 2020


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