the unity of love can we live out this mission. This is Jesus’ prayer, and his request that we be protected, sanctified, and unified are all to the purpose of being a witness to the world. The disciples, us included, continue Jesus’ mission in the world. We have been commissioned.

4. The reason unity is crucial to witness and mission is that in a world defined by conflict, broken relationships, dysfunctional families, and fractured and nearly non-existent communities, such unity would indeed be a sign that God is at work because no human effort could accomplish it. The love that we are to show the world is to mirror the love the Son shows us; that is to say, that our love for one another has to be a costly love, a sacrificial love, where we are willing to lay down our lives for one another just as Jesus did for all of us. That is also what it means to receive glory. Jesus received glory by proceeding to his hour: his glorification includes his death. In following Jesus along the same path, we too will receive glory.

Jesus’ Prayer for Us

1. Lastly it is very important that we recognize that this passage is a prayer. Jesus is asking his Father to accomplish all these things. He is asking his Father to protect us. He is asking his Father to sanctify us. He is asking his Father to make us one in heart and mind. These are not things we can accomplish. We cannot preserve ourselves. We cannot sanctify ourselves. And we certainly cannot make ourselves one and create unity amongst ourselves. Jesus entrusts his disciples to God the Father. So should we.

2. All of what Jesus asks of his Father here can be summed up in what he says at the end of his prayer: “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Love is the key.

3. During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp.When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ’s commands. Then they came together. Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred. When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a