Knowing that someone is praying for you is encouraging, but knowing they are praying for you amidst their own personal pain and agony really punctuates their prayer. Such was the case with Jesus, on the night of his arrest and suffering.
"I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17:20-21)
In the presence of His disciples, Jesus looked beyond them to the countless numbers who would become His disciples through them. We are among those who have heard the “word” and believed. The word, “word", used here is the same "word" of John 1 - "In the beginning was the word ..." There is more to this word, “word,” than meets the eye. It is not something simply spoken; it is a central idea, concept, or plan. It is something that can become flesh (John 1:14). We can say, then, that we have become believers through those who became the living embodiment of the very plan of God. We are believers through the living, breathing word of the first disciples.
The living word that has caused us to believe is designed to bring us into a oneness similar to the oneness that Jesus enjoys with His Father. As we are vitally connected to the Father through Jesus and to one another, we present a compelling testimony to the world to believe that our Father has sent Jesus in to the world.
What an amazing concept! The ultimate way that the world will believe in Jesus is through our connection to the Father through Him and with each other. It takes us back to the amazing story of the Church in the Book of Acts. They became a living example of what Jesus prays for here.
There are those of us who wonder if the dynamic of the first century church can be reclaimed in our lifetime. If so, it will be through the pathway of Jesus’ prayer in John 17. As we discover the life-giving truth concerning “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17.3), we are on the pathway to real unity with them, and with one another (John 17.20-21).
There is much to explore and discover about our Creator Father, and His Son, and what it means to live in unity with other believers. Be assured that Jesus is praying for success for us as we commit to these important priorities.
©Steve Taylor, 2015 --Used by permission
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