John 17:18-21 – As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.
Did you know that Jesus actually prayed for us? If you are a Christian, Jesus prayed directly for you here. It says: “Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word.” We who are Christians have believed because of Jesus’ disciples like John, so these things that Jesus said are meant for us directly.
It is very interesting to look at this prayer and apply it directly to our situation today. Jesus sent us into the world just like God sent Jesus into the world. Jesus didn’t have a great life, but He had purpose. It is the same for us. As Christians we face various kinds of persecution, but we do have a very clear purpose from Jesus: to love each other.
Jesus, also, prays that we may all be one. This has been a very difficult thing for us. There are so many distractions. On one side, we have so much disagreement between Christians that we have broken into tiny pieces. On the other side we have a “unity” movement that attempts to re-define Christianity so much so as to cause us to not believe what John has written for us.
The movement to make all religions into one is itself a false religion because it creates a single religion at the expense of many others just like any other religion. The difference is the Pharisee-like self righteousness is applied to the claim that that all religions are now somehow combined by their ingenuity. In reality, yet another new religion has been formed that proudly discriminates against others.
A more serious problem is that, as believers, we often don’t work together and love each other. This has truly been harmful. We all need to humbly seek God and allow the Holy Spirit to use the words of the Bible to bring us together. When we keep fighting with each other, it is a sign that we are not spiritual. We need to find the truth and believe it and, in love, help others to find it. We may have to change when God helps us to realize that what we thought was not true, and as others grow in their discovery of the truth, those who have already discovered it need to be patient and self-sacrificing while weaker believers learn.
Jesus tells us here that this is a way that “the world will believe” that God sent Jesus. For this reason, our unity is very important to saving others. We should never compromise the truth of the Bible, but we need to be open to the interpretation of the Bible that comes from the Holy Spirit. Only He can reveal that to us, but He doesn’t reveal it to us alone. If someone claims to have, by themselves, come up with a new idea, it is not from the Holy Spirit since the Holy Spirit is in all of those who believe and has written the Bible for us. It can’t go against that.