Reading: John 17:1-11
Verse 11: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.”
After clearly telling the disciples that it is time for him to return to God, Jesus tells the disciples, “In this world you will have trouble.” He immediately follows this up with words of encouragement: “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It is from this place that Jesus offers the prayer that we read today in John 17.
Jesus first prays mostly for himself, thanking God that eternal life will be given to those that belong to or believe in him. He acknowledges that he has “completed the work you sent me to do.” Jesus has lived out God’s love, revealing God to the world. He will be glorified here through the resurrection and then he will return to glory in heaven.
In verses 6-11 Jesus prays for his disciples – “those whom you gave me out of this world.” Living as exiles or sojourners in this world, we too fit this description. Jesus acknowledges their obedience and their belief that God was in him and he is in God. Recognizing that they will yet remain in the world, Jesus prays, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” There is power in the name of Jesus. Calling upon his name will invoke a holy presence. Calling on Jesus for power or guidance or protection or… invites Jesus to be right there with us.
And why might a disciple need this power? “So that they may be one as we are one.” To bring unity, to build community, to develop relationships, to work together – to be one with one another as we are one with God, Jesus, and the Spirit. It’s all about relationship and connection. As disciples of Jesus Christ may we too seek to be one with each other and one with the Lord our God.
Prayer: Lord God, through the power of your Holy Spirit, connect us to one another and to you. Build us up as the body of Christ, finding power and unity in the name of Jesus Christ, your son and our perfect example. Bind us together as we seek to minister to the needs of the world. Amen.