“I do not ask for these only, however, but also for those believing through their word into Me — that all might be one, as you, Father are in Me and I in You — that they also might be in us that the world might believe that you sent me.” (John 17:20 IG Version)
My heart often turns to these passages in John 17. I need to work with this one before we can turn to those that follow. You will notice that the translation is my own. I am just correcting (or in this case clearing up) a word usage that I feel is important. That word is underlined and while it may not seem to be important (as the word can be translated “in”) it contains a concept that gets overlooked in the dynamic of these verses. So thank you for bearing with me.
Jesus is praying for His disciples just before His death and very preciously includes us in that prayer. In this verse He began to reveal His heart regarding all of us. The word “into” gives a good meaning to it all because it is not a just a mental “believe.” That is an invention of our western culture. In the Hebrew understanding it is impossible. If we truly “believe” (Greek word can also be translated trust, have confidence in, and contains all those meanings) then our entire person is involved in the oneness of that action. Paul’s words to the people in Athens were, “In Him we live and move and have our very being.” He was speaking to unbelievers. So just think what awesome things are ours as believers when we purposely place our persons “into” Him.
This is how this “oneness” is a reality. Notice that our call is not primarily to be “one” with one another, but to be “one” in His person. That makes us one together. Our oneness together is a by-product of our being one in Him. Trying to accomplish this in the flesh will never create what is talked about here. Actually, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church that beautiful Pentecost day 2,000 years ago, we were made one in Him. It is not our work to do it, but to acknowledge it and live its truth.
The “oneness” His is praying for is our life in His that makes us a part of the oneness of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is in that placement that we are a huge billboard advertisement that Jesus is real.
“If you then were raised with Christ, desire those things which are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth. For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 MEV
This “hidden in Him” is a product of being one in Him. Being one in Him makes us one with the Father. Now you may say that you already knew all of that, probably so, but I believe we need to understand it much more deeply in our beings. When we turn to the Lord in prayer, we have in effect joined Heaven’s table of sharing. It is a family thing – we have gathered with our family – we are in His likeness – around the table of “one.”
In Him, I am accepted and empowered. All religious forms to make me “closer to God” drop off as unnecessary and useless as I join where I belong by the nature of my oneness in Him. He lives in my being! What a marvelous freedom. It remakes the very essence of prayer in our beings. It is such sweetness, acceptance and joy.
Think about this and open to its reality in your being. It is so sweet. More next post. Thanks so for reading.