John 17

Vs. 1, “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.”  Jesus lifted his eyes up to the Father in surrender.  We are upon one of the most beautiful chapters of prayer!  It is a prayer in which Jesus prays for Himself as He faces the cross (vs. 1-5).  He also prays for the disciples knowing their life was going to very difficult and that the enemy would attack them (vs. 6-19).  And Jesus also prays for us (the church) that through our unity the world would see Jesus in us (vs. 20-26).  We see the heart of Christ in this prayer as He soon would be obedient to death on a cross.

Regarding application…Prayer for Unity.  Vs. 23, “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  Question: What is unity?  Jesus isn’t talking about doing away with denominations or different churches.  What Jesus is referring here is that when people come to the church or when the church reaches out to the world…they would see something vastly different.  They would see a people unified through the love of Christ Jesus!  When we look at the world and it’s organizations (schools, workplace, etc) we realize that there is probably gossip, slander, hatred, bitterness, etc.  Jesus looked to His future church and prayed earnestly for us that we would not fall into the ways of the world.  When a parent see’s their children loving each other and getting along, I’m sure their heart is filled with joy!  This is what Jesus is praying that we too would love each other so richly that the world would see something so different.  Question: What can you do to help unify your church?