The true “Lord’s Prayer” is John 17, also sometimes called the High Priestly Prayer. In verses 1 – 20 Jesus had already prayed for Himself and His mission. He also prayed for His disciples. Jesus prayed this prayer before Jesus and the disciples left for the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was to be betrayed.
Jesus prayed that the disciples would build the church after Jesus was resurrected. Now He prays for us as the results of their evangelism and the generations of believers through the ages.
(John 17:20 WEB) Neither pray I for these alone; but for them also who shall believe on me through their word.
I believe Jesus prayed for us also as believers through His Word. Then He prays for unity.
(John 17:21 WEB) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Jesus prays that we relate to each other in the same way that Jesus and God relate to each other. And even more challenging our unity to be a beacon of light to the world.
We should be careful about claiming too much for ourselves as we are all flawed. Ironically admitting our flaws helps us identify with others. And the witness is that we’re not in that flawed situation because of the Gospel.
(John 17:22 WEB) And the glory which thou gavest to me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
I’m sometimes hesitant to claim the mantle of Christ because I’m not always glorious. But it’s our direction in life that is aimed at the narrow way that is counted as righteousness.
(John 17:23 WEB) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me.
Speaking of righteousness it’s either me or someone else that’s not perfect in one. You’re right; it’s both of us, or more correctly all of us, that are less than perfect.
(John 17:24 WEB) Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given to me be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given to me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Jesus considers us crown jewels and longs for us to be with Him. And I just can’t imagine what it will be like when we see Jesus, the Word, the Christ, the Savior, and the Second Adam, who has always been! And to know we’re loved by God solely because of Jesus.
(John 17:25 WEB) O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
My faith is always encouraged when I realize that I know Jesus and from there that God says I know Him also. There’s a duality here that is the only valid reason for my saving. I don’t feel I can say I’m saved when it wasn’t me that duid the saving.
(John 17:26 WEB) And I have declared to them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love with which thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.
Ah – it is the Holy Spirit that brings the reality to my heart. How else could we claim assurance if both God and Jesus were in Heaven waiting for us to get it right under our own power. Now we’re connected to the trinity with the Holy Spirit within us.
(John 16:13-15 WEB) 13But, when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all the truth: for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he shall hear, [that] will he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He will glorify me: for he will receive of mine, and will show [it] to you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore I said, that he will take of mine, and show [it] to you.
I grieve each time I read this scripture. Because one of the (or most prominent) objection(s) to Christianity is the obvious lack of unity across denominations and within congregations.
What can we glean from this passage of scripture that will empower us to become the glue that holds together Christ’s Church, namely His Body?
This is a hard question. But rather than avoiding this challenging scripture, I think we should read it often. The closer we come to the assurances and the commitments it calls us to, the greater our ability to encourage unity and to be the beacons of hope that Jesus calls us to.
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