John 17: 20 – 26 Jesus prays for all believers

John 17: 20 – 26 Jesus prays for all believers

‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you 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. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

‘Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.’

*       *       *

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.”

Starting on the day of Pentecost, the disciples passed on the message of Jesus. Initially this was done orally, but as the followers of Jesus increased in number, some of Jesus’ teaching was written down. Gradually those writings became our bible, and the followers of Jesus became the church, in its broadest sense. In that way, the message of those first disciples was passed on to us, and so this part of Jesus’ prayer is very specifically for us.

It is Jesus himself praying for each and every one of us.

And what does he pray?

“that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”

He prays for the unity of all Christians.

And why does he pray this?

“May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

In other words, that people will see our unity in love and know that God the Father sent Jesus. We are to witness to Jesus by our love for each other.

There is a video on YouTube which gives a graphic example of this, It’s called the UK Blessing. A large number of churches in the UK collaborated to produce the video, to show the love of God in action. I think it’s beautiful and very moving. Do listen to it if you have time.

While there are many denominations, and some profound doctrinal differences, wherever there is love Christians find they have brothers and sisters.

I grew up in the Anglican church. I was drawn closer to God by attending a Roman Catholic church and seeing the devout nature of their worship, and their devotion to prayer. When I was in my late twenties, God spoke very strongly to me. I’ll tell you what happened.

I had a new job, in a city 150 miles from where I had been working. During the week I lived in a bedsit, travelling home at the weekends.

The bedsit was cold, so cold that I used to walk to the reference library in the evening, and sit there reading. One evening as I walked there, I noticed that there were Christian posters in the window of a house I passed.

“Go and ring the door-bell.”

I stopped walking.

“Whaaat?!”

“Go and ring the door-bell.”

I thought for a moment. Perhaps another time. I took a few steps, and stopped. It was physically difficult for me to move

“Go and ring the door-bell.”

So I did.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry to disturb you, I saw your posters and I just felt I had to…er…um… you know, ring your door-bell.”

They welcomed me with open arms, insisted that I ate dinner with them, and took me to a Pentecostal prayer group. Which was exactly what I needed then.

Since then, I’ve worshipped mostly in the Methodist tradition, but because of God’s leading, I’m comfortable with any denomination. The love between the church members witnesses to the love of Jesus.

And that love is drawing me closer to Jesus. I prayed that I might become closer.

“You might try spending a little more time with me.”

“Oh.” (Blushes with shame) “Sorry.”

“You’re a writer. Start a blog. Start by reading and commenting on St John’s gospel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any readers. I will determine who needs to read it, and guide them to it. You just study and write – and don’t forget to talk to me about it!”

So that’s what I’m doing.

And if you’ve read this far, the message to you from Jesus is that he loves you and will live with you if you ask him. Amen!

Published by pennygadd51

I write. I've written many pieces of flash fiction, dozens of short stories and two novels, with a third in progress.

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