The Daily Encounter
(22) The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, (23) I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
John 17:22-23 (ESV)
Before time itself, perfect community simply was. The triune God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, in perfect unity. Eternal glory was theirs to share! Here in John 17, however, Jesus says that he has given us this glory… what can it mean? What did he give us? Let me break it two ways:
1. He gave us an invitation. In His death, he made possible what was not possible before – that mankind could come before a Holy God. The perfect relationship that is God was opened to you and I! Not so that we could become gods, but so that we could enjoy this perfect harmony… as we submit to Christ, He is glorified, and we share in that glory. This is the embrace of a loving father.
2. He gave us the Holy Spirit. See, Jesus also calls us to unity here on Earth… “that they may be one”. By the power of the spirit, we can overcome the sin that would otherwise tear us apart. The wedge of sin and strife between man is no longer permanent! The unity between God and Man is shared by each and every believer, and that in itself calls for oneness here on Earth. We can’t do it alone, but it can be done.
This is not a unity that is natural in our broken world. It’s something supernatural. Christ-like unity here on earth gives the watching world a glimpse of heaven, as we live in a way that shows we continually die to ourselves. How can this be? Only through Jesus and the power of the Spirit. Only through Jesus who offers his love.
Let’s be clear – unity is not a side benefit of Christianity. It’s not a perk. It’s the very core! It’s the culmination of a cosmic battle between good and evil, and the reconciliation of God and man. It’s a return to the way we were meant to be, just as He has always been. If we run after Christ, we inherently run after unity.
Church, I pray that here our love for one another would reflect the Father’s love for us.