20 I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.21 May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one. 23 I am in them and You are in Me. May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire those You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they will see My glory, which You have given Me because You loved Me before the world’s foundation. 25 Righteous Father! The world has not known You. However, I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me. 26 I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
How amazing is this? In the last moments of His life, just before He was arrested, beaten, and crucified, Jesus prayed for us! He was not only asking the Father for the strength to do God’s will, but He was praying that we, the ones who believe in the message of the Gospels, would also do God’s will.
And what did He ask for? He prayed that we would be one—so united with each other and with God that we would be as close as the Father and the Son were. Their unity is a template for us: how our lives should begin to look as we are spiritually formed into Christ-likeness.
This was always God’s intent from the beginning as well:
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun. (Romans 8:29-30 MSG)
“Those He called, He also justified,” Paul says in that last verse. To justify is to make right, to set in right relationship. You probably justify every day—it’s a printing term. When you align the type in your document with the margins, you justify them. You align them. When God aligns our lives with His, He uses Christ as both the means and the model, for Father and Son were in perfect alignment on all things.
How would this alignment look?
- We would do nothing on our own, but just what we see God doing. Whatever God does, we would do those things in the same way. (John 5:19-20)
- We would always do what pleases God. (John 8:28-29
- We would know Him and keep His Word. (John 8:55)
- We would know that God is pleased with us. (Mark 1:9-11)
- We would know and do the will of the Father. (John 6:38-40)
- We would speak with the Father often. (Luke 5:6)
- We would know that the Father always hears us. (John 11:41-42)
- We would show the world who God is and what He is like. (John 1:18)
- We would have power from the Holy Spirit to do the work of God. (Luke 4:18-21)
This is, in fact, the life we were created to live, and the life that Christ has made possible.
You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. (Ephesians 4:5-6 MSG)
John used the word “fellowship” (koinonia) to describe this oneness. “And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ,” John wrote. “And we want you to enjoy this, too.” (1 John 1:3-4) So did Jesus. He prayed that we would have this fellowship and be filled with joy. (John 17:13)
- Begin by meditating on the truth that Jesus prayed for you before His death. He wanted things for you. Ponder today’s passage to learn what Jesus wanted for you.
- Romans 8:28-29 tells us God also wants this for us. Study these verses. How does God form this unity in us? What do these verses tell us God does?
- What is our part in in being aligned into this kind of unity?
- Contemplate the passages above that show us how this unity manifested itself in Christ’s life. In which of these areas are you not aligned? Confess those areas where you are not in agreement with God, and ask Him to transform your attitudes or actions.
- If every believer was this perfectly aligned with Christ, how would the church be affected? Where do you see the need for alignment in your church/Life Group/family? Ask God to begin a spiritual transformation in that group of believers, beginning with you.