JESUS’ GOD WANTS US TO BE “ONE.” DO WE?
That John’s Gospel emphasizes a relational oneness that exists between God and Jesus is often emphasized in sermons, teachings, and theology books. Less emphasized is Jesus’ prayer that those of us who follow him would experience the same relational oneness—with God, with Jesus, and with one another.
John 17:21 – I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
This tells me several things about Jesus’ God.
(1) Most of us haven’t even begun to plumb the depths of the relationship Jesus’ God wants to establish with us.
(2) Only rarely have Jesus’ followers experienced this oneness with one another that Jesus wanted for us—look at the reality of Christian’s attitudes toward one another today.
(3) Our relationship with God, Jesus, and one another mattered a lot to Jesus if he prayed about it only a few hours before being arrested and executed.
(4) Not every prayer—even those by the most faithful that are fully within the will and desires of God can be answered “yes” by God. God’s ability to say “yes” often depends upon how we humans respond to God’s desires. As the prophets often said, we can limit God’s ability to do what God would like to do for us.
(5) I’m not sure why some of us seem to think God should always say “yes” to our prayers—of if God doesn’t then something is either wrong with God or with our prayers—when God has not very often been able to answer “yes” to this prayer voiced by the most faithful human who ever lived.
(6) We should keep joining Jesus in praying this prayer that is so dear to his heart and so dear to the heart of the God to whom Jesus prayed. No matter how frustrating it is, it is the right prayer.
I would love to hear your thoughts about Jesus’ God and our prayers as well as about the “oneness” that Jesus and God want for us.