“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
The prayer that Jesus prays for all believers is essentially that we would be one. It is the most frequent word used in His petition for us. Someone recently reminded me of a church meeting where a question was asked of me: “how can we pray for you” and my response was to pray in accordance with John 17:21; 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.
The heart of the Lord for His church is that we would be one, just as He is one with the Father. In our generation, there are many forces that seek to divide us, as members of the Body of Christ. Things like race, denominations, doctrine, generation, worship style, socioeconomic status, politics, ideology, culture, and the list goes on and on. All these things come to nullify the word of God that says — Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10 and again in 1 Corinthians 12:23-26; And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
The glory of God comes upon us when we are one. Jesus declares that we as believers have been given glory, as he prayed — 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. The purpose of the glory is to make us one as God is one. So that we can reflect the glory of God on earth by His Spirit.
Jesus loves us just as the Father loved Him. That means that you and I are loved with an everlasting love. God who is not bound by time, nor does He have any limitations, has poured the fullness of His love in us through His Son Jesus Christ. This is indeed the Lord’s Prayer, that we are one; glorified with Him; and that we are loved by Him.
As He prayed for all believers, Jesus expressed His desire for us in verse 24; “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. He desires that we would be with Him to behold His glory which the Father has given Him. John the beloved gives us a glimpse of His glory in Revelation 21:23; The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. The sun nor the moon will shine when we are with Him, for the glory of God will illuminate the city of God,, and the Lamb is the light.
This joy that we have, the world did not give us, and the world cannot take it away. We are assured of a place in glory where there is everlasting love. Because we have known the One who is hidden from the wise and prudent of this world. Jesus concludes His prayer for all believers with these words — O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
May every believer who reads this devotion be reminded of John 20:29 which is spoken about every believer who did not walk with Jesus in the earth — Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Lord Jesus, thank you for declaring Your name, and for sharing the love of God with us. We believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And we say Amen together as one!