Jesus prays for all believers
John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Extra Reading: John 17:20-26
One thing that amazes me about our Lord Jesus Christ is His selflessness. Here we are told that He was not praying for His eleven disciples alone, but also for all who have ever believed and yet believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Now in this third part of Jesus’ final prayer, He prays especially for us. From verse 21 we may ask: ‘What does He pray for us above all?’ He prays that we might become one. All believers are to be one in mind and heart. We are to be one in love. We are to be one in Christ and in God, just as God and Christ are one in each other (John 10:30). This oneness is a spiritual oneness. It is unity brought about by the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 4:3-4). The next thing that follows is that Jesus prays that we might remain in Him and in God (see John 15:4-5, 8). Only when we are united with God and Christ can we be united with each other. When we remain in God and in Christ we will bear fruit. People will see that we are continuing Christ’s work. When we bear the fruit in our lives in Christ’s name, people will believe that God indeed did send Christ into the world. The two fruits that are easiest for the world to see are our unity and our love. If we as Christ’s followers demonstrate these fruits, then the world will surely know that Christ was sent from God.
Verse 22 states that Christ gave His disciples His own glory, which He had received from His Father. This glory is spiritual life and love. It is the glory of sanctification. Jesus gave them His glory that they might be one, even as He and the Father were one (see verse 11). Verse 23 repeats the thought of verse 21. Our unity with each other comes from our unity with God and Christ. We are in them. They are in us. They are in each other. We are branches of the same vine. When the world sees our unity, it will know that God sent Christ, and that God loves us, even as He loves Christ (see John 15:9). The world will know that our unity is not based on human love, but on divine love. It is exciting to know that God loves us as much as He loves His own Son Jesus Christ. And He has made us sons and daughters also, because we have believed Jesus Christ (see John 1:12). The question that concerns me the most is this: ‘Does the world see love among Christians? How successful the devil has been dividing us!’ We need to go on our knees and repent and ask God for His forgiveness for not having preserved the unity of His church. From verse 24 we learn that
Jesus have already told His disciples that He would come back to get them (John 14:3). Here He expresses this same intention to God. He wanted His disciples to see His glory, the glory that He had from the beginning (see verse 5). The world does not know God, but Christ knows Him (John 8:55). Christ came from God to reveal God to men (see Matthew 11:27; John 1:18).
Prayer: O God, thank you for revealing Yourself to us through Christ. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!