Summary: Sermon for the 7th Sunday of Easter, the Festival of the Christian Home (Mother's Day), Year C, 2013
John 17: 20 - 26 / Being One
Intro: I begin this morning with 4 questions. I want you to raise your hand if you know the answers: 1) What is my full name? 2) Can you name any school that I have attended? 3) What is my favorite color? 4) What is my favorite book of the Bible? Now, I encourage you to look around this room and pick 4 people: it can be the person directly in front of you, to your left, right and directly behind you or it can be any 4 people in the room. Can you answer those same 4 questions about the 4 people you have chosen?
I. VSS, 20 – 21 – 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.
A. that all of them may be one is literally the number One in GK is hen (έν) and refers to a prime number.
B. A prime number is a number that can only be divided by one or itself. It has to be greater than one and a whole number. For example 2,3,5,7,11,13,17,19 and 23 are all prime numbers. There is only one even prime number and it is the number 2.
C. Because the prime number one can only be divided by one, it is a unique way of implying unity. So when Jesus speaks here he is asking God to unify his followers.
II. Jesus clearly states that “oneness” is a reflection of the way in which God and Jesus are one. “VS. 21b – just as you are in me and I am in you.”
A. Imagine how boring our world would be if everyone looked the same, dressed the same, spoke the same, and acted the same. How would we ever tell each other apart?
B. Jesus prays to God that His followers need to be one: they need to know and support each other. When one falls, another is there to stand in the breach and pick up their fallen comrade.
C. There are those in the world who do not believe because they see divisiveness and disunity among the followers of Christ Jesus even within His church where there should be unity and harmony.
III. VSS. 22 – 23 “ 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---so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then, the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
A. The ONENESS of which Jesus speaks does not imply SAMENESS. Rather, it refers to unity.
B. Unity is respecting diversity. Each member of a church should know that they have a place that is not simply tolerated; but essential to the whole.
C. Perfect oneness or unity is coming together, overcoming our differences, finding common ground and common goals in the name of Christ Jesus and working together to achieve those goals.
Conclu: On her golden anniversary a grandmother explained the secret of her long and happy marriage to her family. She said, “On my wedding day, I decided to choose 10 of my husband’s faults which, for the sake of our marriage, I would overlook.” A guest asked her to list the 10 faults. “To tell the truth,” she replied, “I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, ‘Lucky for him that’s one of the ten.”
For any church to live into its full potential, everyone must not only believe, but also live in the oneness or unity of love for each other by being one in Christ Jesus.