About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Prays For All Believers (ch. 17:20-26)
verse 20 we see the only place in Scripture where Jesus actually prays for
you and I, assuming you belong to Him.
He tells His Father that He is not only praying for His disciples
who were presently alive, but He is praying for all those people who will
believe because of the apostles preaching.
Thatís you and I. Jesus
prayed for you and I. Even
more importantly, we learn from the book of Hebrews that Jesus is our high
priest for all of eternity. That
means He is still praying for us and will forever.
In verse 21 we note the specific prayer that Jesus prays for us is "that we will all be one." Why did He pray this? "So that the world will know" that God the Father sent Jesus. Our oneness is a testimony to Jesus, especially to the fact that God sent Him, and God sending Jesus is one very vital piece of information the world needs to know. This is the crux of the matter. The world must realize that Jesus came from God, and that Jesus is God. Jesus was not a mere man and He definitely wasnít just another prophet or teacher. Our problem today is that our lack of unity has not helped in promoting the message that Jesus did in fact come from God. Our lack of unity does not show the world that we in fact serve the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only true God.
prayed that His people, the church, would be one, just as He and His
Father is one. There is no way in our human intellect that we can
understand the oneness that Jesus had with His Father, and, there is no
way that we can have this oneness with each other in this life. This
prayer will be answered, not in this life but the next life. Even
this prayer spoken by Jesus was not answered immediately, and, it still
has not been answered. This should tell us that not all of our
prayers have an immediate answer.
verse 22 Jesus says that He has given us glory, the same glory that the
Father gave Jesus, so we may be one with Jesus and the Father.
The giving of the Holy Spirit to the believers gives us honour and
glory, the same honour and glory that God gave Jesus.
This honour and glory was seen when John baptized Jesus in water.
verse 23 Jesus says, "I in them, you in me."
What Jesus is saying is that there should be such a unity between
Him and us that it is similar to the unity He has with His Father, and you
canít get any more unified than that.
Of course, such unity is impossible, at least in this lifetime.
I say this because God the Father, Jesus the Son, and, the Holy
Spirit experience a unity that is beyond human capability.
That being said, we certainly can achieve more unity if we'd give
ourselves to it.
thinking of unity, I'm not talking about compromise.
I'm not talking about the ecclesiastical unity we have seen in the
past few decades in the church where central doctrines of the Bible are
ignored. Unity must be experienced in light of Biblical truth.
Unity apart from Biblical truth is not the unity that Jesus is
talking about here.
then repeats Himself in the second half of verse 23 as He often does.
He says, "may they be brought to complete unity."
This might suggest that the believers were not in complete unity at
that time. This would maybe be
due to the fact that the Holy Spirit had not yet come into their lives.
That being said, remember, Jesus is praying, not for those in the
room at that present moment. He
is praying for us, and we clearly need to prayer Jesus is praying.
As a matter of fact, disunity in the Body of Christ isn't new.
It begins right in the book of Acts.
again, the reason for the unity is to show the world that Jesus came from
God, and that God has loved Jesus and that Jesus has loved those who
verse 24 Jesusí desire is expressed in this prayer, the desire for those
whom God has given Him to be with Him in His glory.
I believe Jesus is still praying for those who would believe in the
future. Jesus says here that
He is praying for those the Father has given Him.
We can certainly understand those to whom the Father has given Him
to mean the disciples that were with Him as He spoke these words, but, if
Jesus is still praying for you and I, then, we should understand that you
and I have been given Jesus from the Father.
You can I have been chosen by God.
This may sound Calvinistic, but we have to deal with what Jesus is
saying here. I am not a Calvinist, but I do believe that we just can't
come to Jesus any old time we want and be saved.
The Holy Spirit, from the Father, must draw us.
It is at the time when we must decide whether to respond to the
Holy Spirit or not.
we see here that Jesus wants us believers to be with Him, which could mean
in Heaven. His glory, the
glory He had with the Father before creation was fully realized when He
returned to the Father. This
is where Jesus now is. This is
where Jesus wants us. We are
there in one sense of the word, that is through the Holy Spirit, but we
arenít their in a physical sense of the word.
We will be once we die.
chapter ends in verses 25 and 26 with Jesus calling His Father righteous
and that the world doesnít know the Father, but He knows Him, and His
followers know that the Father sent Him.
In verse 26 Jesus says that He has made the Father known to His
followers and will continue to do so.
This will happen through the Holy Spirit when all believers receive
Him. All this Jesus does so
His love will be in us, and most of all He Himself will be in us.
We note here that Jesus lives in us, via the Holy Spirit. Here
we see the dual nature of the Son and the Spirit.
Remember, the Holy Spirit is often called the Spirit of Christ in
the New Testament.
This chapter shows us the importance of love and unity n the Body of Christ, something that has always been sadly lacking, but remember, love is sometimes tough love. Love must be demonstrated within the boundaries of truth or else it is not real love. There will come a day when this complete unity will be realized and it will come when Jesus returns to earth.
The last words of this chapter are, "that I myself may be in them." I doubt that the disciples would have understood these words. Remember, they are confused enough as it is and now Jesus prays that He will be inside of them. I can't see them understanding this, but of course, Jesus was speaking of Him being inside of them in Spirit form, as He would later be as seen in Acts 2.
also prays that the love that His Father has for Him may be in us.
There is not doubt about it. This
prayer has yet to be answered.