““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” ” (John 17:20–26, NIV)As a body of Christ, we need to understand: God sent His son…Jesus sends His disciples…and through the great commission, we are sent as well. Our goal is to do the Father’s will. And I think we often make doing the Father’s will more complicated than it has to be. Think about all He has done to help us in this.
He gave us His Word which openly reveals His plan and purpose in the world. He gave us His Spirit to guide us in all truth. He set us apart as a New Covenant community of believers in Jesus Christ. Designing us with many parts, each one equally valuable in His eyes and all equally necessary for the healthy function of the body to carry out that mission. God uses all these things to make His will known.
But I think the most important thing He has done for us is what Jesus is demonstrating to His disciples right here in our passage. We know the Father’s will by abiding in the vine. We cannot have oneness with God (or with each other for that matter) if we don’t have an intimate and abiding relationship with Christ. We cannot do the Father’s will if we are not spending time in His presence. We do not have the strength to endure if we are not finding our strength in Him. We will not speak the truth in love if we do not learn to love His truth.
But when we do…when we are abiding in Him and walking in the good works He has prepared beforehand…it is a beautiful thing. Our oneness in purpose bears fruit that glorifies God. And when each cluster of good works is added to the other, the vineyard of God’s church sends a powerful message of hope to a lost and dying world. That is the divine mission of God we are called to carry on.
Follow the example Jesus has given us and find yourself often and the feet of our Father. Surrender your will to His and do nothing on your own accord. Live comfortably in dependence of His faithful care. Remember…The saint that advances on his knees never retreats.