Summary: This sermon discusses the unity Jesus prayed for his people in John 17. It is the kind of koininia exemplified in the Trinity. This unity occurs because of change of heart rather than a change of organizational structure.
What Jesus Desires
This morning we want to talk about - What Jesus Desires as Reflected in John 17.
We are prone to focus is on what we desire and how we can receive what we want and need from the Lord. That’s not wrong. God tells us to delight ourselves in Him and He will give us the desires of our heart (Ps 37). But today we direct our attention to what Jesus desires.
This Whole Chapter= Jesus prayer right before Arrested and went to Cross. Follow with me as we read verses 10-11 and 20-23. There are many things that Jesus could have prayed at this critical time: strength for the ordeal, the support of Disciples,etc.
But the Desire that dominated his prayer = we, his disciples, be ONE as He and the Father are one.
I. That= The GOAL see in our text: Unity
Last week I was with a number of pastors from various denominations for a Prayer Summit- during prayer opened understanding of something in this prayer like never before: The Standard of Unity Jesus Desiring
Typically, when we read John 17 we think of the unity Jesus is seeking for us as simply - not wanting us fight- strive –live in conflict over Offenses with each other.
That is True: But what He is desiring for us is so much more than that!
A. Look Closely Jn 17:10: what’s mine is yours- what’s yours is mine: That= Unity from God’s Perspective. I say this reverently but I say it based on what I read in John 17:10 & 11: The Std. Of unity that Jesus is praying for us to have= the unity found in the Trinity ( that is mind boggling to me)
We are awed by the revelation of the Trinity anyway: How can 1=3 and 3=1?
But here is something even more Profound to my understanding= God wants you & me be one as He is with Father. I’m so thankful that Jesus wants that for us. I’m glad that it is His desire that we could participate in that kind of unity.
How many agree- goes way beyond just the Absence of Conflict. It is a total, unreserved SHARING of everything with one another. Listen closely to what Jesus said to the Father in John 17:10 “All I have is yours and all you have is mine…”NIV
That is unity from God’s perspective—a total sharing of everything. That is the Biblical standard of “fellowship” or to use the familiar Greek word: koininia.
We have talked about that word in ourWed. Bible Class: I Jn 1:3
“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. “
Essential underlying meaning of Koininia= Sharing ( all that is mine=yours…).
B. In our society we have a very Different Concept of Sharing. Our concept of koininia is if I have $ 100 and you have a need I give you $ 10 and pray others will give as well. Or my compassion might even cause me to give you $ 50 and I keep $ 50. I think most of us would feel pretty good about ourselves if we did that. As good as that might be that is not the unity that Jesus prayed we would have. In Jn 17:11
He prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. That unity is described in the verse just prior to that in these terms-verse 10 “All that is mine is yours and all that is yours is mine.”
When our daughters were small we taught them to share. When our 5 year old had two suckers we would say to her now share with your little sister- give her one of the suckers. Of course, she didn’t even want to do that, she wanted both for herself. But when she finally gave one sucker to her little sister and kept one, we felt we had won a major victory. Perhaps we had. But we had taught her a concept of unity, a concept of sharing that is different than the New Testament concept.
C. We have an example of New Testament unity in (Acts 2:42-47 read).
Notice in verse 44 “all believers were together and had everything in common.”
That is the kind of unity Jesus prayed for and it is the kind of unity He desires for His people today.
How did that kind of unity come about? It was Not Imposed upon these disciples Organizationally but was the result of a Dramatic Change of Heart. No man can produce the unity described in Acts 2. Every time people read these verses and try to “make it happen” through organizational effort it is an utter fiasco. This is something that must originate from the Spirit of God. This is something that supernaturally comes when God touches the individual hearts and causes them to make a free will choice like Barnabas did. Look with me as read Acts 4:31-36.