Josh on John 17: Unity in the Church

Josh, the other contributor to this site, preached one Sunday at Fellowship Baptist Church. Listen to it here.

His topic was John 17 and Jesus’ prayer for unity.

Though I was working while listening, I picked up some good points. One of the driving points seemed to be that Jesus wants us to focus on him. Out of our unity with God we find our unity with one another.

In other words, ecumenical gatherings can only do so much. We cannot plan out a “unity” so to speak. What we really need for unity is a life that is formed through contact with our Lord.

Something else that I need to listen again is the part about the unity that Jesus prayed for. Here’s the passage:

17:20 I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony,
17:21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
17:22 The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one
17:23 I in them and you in me that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me. (NET Bible)

Two things are striking here.


First, Jesus says that he has given his disciples the glory that the Father gave to Jesus, the Son. If anything affirms the immediacy of the Gospel – that the kingdom of God HAS COME – this is it. God’s glory has already been unleashed in our world.

Secondly, notice the repetition of Jesus’ prayer. On two occasions he asks for his followers to be one as he and the Father are one. This is a profound subject. As Josh, stated, we can’t even figure out the unity of the trinity works, much less how we’re supposed to resemble it.

Maybe a look at true Christian unity is the best lesson in understanding the trinity.

Good work Josh.