22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
John 17 gives us an intimate glimpse of Jesus’s relationship with our creator. In this chapter he is praying to be glorified, for his disciples and finally for all believers.
Verse 23 is especially striking, as Jesus is praying that all believers would commune with Him “so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
As believers, our journey into unity begins with grace and truth: Grace from God to open our eyes to the truth so that we may accept the invitation into a unified life with the trinity.
Our unified life in Christ should then flow to a unified life with our spiritual brothers and sisters. The fruit of this unity is nonbelievers knowing that Christ was sent from the Father and loves them.
I believe that the grace and truth that originally drew us to Christ will be the same means of attaining unity in the Church. We need to have grace and not be overly critical of Christian brothers and sisters who have differing views. We have to have faith that God is merciful and leading us down the right theological path.
Then we need to cling to Truth, by continually and rigidly seeking what God means and intends with the words of scripture. We need to study Truth so that we will not be misled by false teachings and doctrine.
What a responsibility we share as the church. If we believe the words of our savior in this verse, the world will know that God sent Jesus and loves them if we are to abide in Jesus in unity.
God help us to abide in you and to cling to grace and truth so that we can promote unity in the church so that the world will see your love. In your son’s name we pray.