Summary: Believers do not make their allegiance to the church but to the One that died for it and now lives to empower it.
Jesus, the God-man: Gospel of John
“All for the One and the One for All!”
Introduction: Most of us have probably either read the book or seen one of the many movies about The Three Musketeers. What I have always enjoyed about the musketeers was their motto: “All for one and one for all!”
This motto meant that the group would support the needs of the individual and each individual would support the needs of the whole group. They had a sense of unity and purpose although they were quite different from one other.
As Jesus begins to pray for us we notice the same request being made that His church would also experience unity although we can be quite diverse. However Jesus’ request is different in that we pledge our allegiance not to the church, but to the One that died for it and now lives to empower it. You will notice a slight tweak to the motto as Jesus desires that we be “all for the One and the One for all!”
1. Jesus wants us to unite around Him. (vv. 20-23)
“these alone” – Not praying just for apostles.
“those who will believe…their word” – Here’s the mark of the one for whom He now prays.
He only prays for believers.
I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. John 17:9 (NIV)
If you have given your life to Christ in response to the Word then Jesus prayed for you! What great love! Before you were even born or thought of, Jesus prayed for you.
v. 21 – Here is what He prays – “that they all may be one.” His desire is that we would be united. There is strength in numbers or “I’ve got your back.”
He wants unity not uniformity or unanimity. We don’t all think or act alike, but our purpose, mission, and focus are the same – to glorify God!
Who is His example of unity? The Trinity. Father in Jesus, Jesus in the Father. The oneness of the Trinity.
“be one in us” – We unite around Jesus and His Lordship. The Father loves the Son and He loves anyone that loves the Son (more about that in a moment).
There is NO unity unless we agree about Jesus and Trinity.
This is why Paul warns the Corinthians to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers in 2 Corinthians 6:14.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)
If you are unequally yoked, you lack unity of purpose!
Instead we are to unite around the mission of Christ. He was sent to the world to save people and we continue that mission together.
Everyone pulls in the same direction. FOCUS! Many times we want to fight each other instead of sin and the devil.
Great picture of unity:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV)