What Jesus REALLY Wants From Us

May 3, 2018

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;” (John 17:20)

 

He says this in the present tense.

 

Jesus prays.

 

Right now He is praying for those that will come to Him though our various ministries, through what we refer to as missionaries wherever it is they are on the earth.

 

Let’s see His pattern: He prays for Himself, then He prays for those close to Him (this includes us) and then He prays for those beyond His personal sphere of influence. We can imitate Him in this.

 

We can pray for ourselves, for those close to us and for those who WILL come to Him....through us and through those we disciple.

 

What exactly is His specific prayer? Of all the things He could ask, this is what He wants more than anything:

 

“...that they all may be one, 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.” (John 17:21)

 

Jesus was praying to the Father, not just for those there with Him on the earth then, but also for us and what He prayed for is the very thing that we lack in the Body of Christ now: unity. He prayed this for us yet we are now incredibly divided. This is one reason I identify myself as a member of the Body of Christ and not in terms of my belonging to any single congregation.

 

I will NOT belong to a subset of the whole because if I do I won’t belong to the other constantly growing number of separate “churches” in this community.

 

It is my belief that the main reason that Jesus has not yet returned is that we are not functionally one. In essence we ARE one since we are in Jesus but in function and in identity most of us are perceptually separate from all the other believers in any given area.

 

If that were not true the term “MY church” would not be common in our church culture terminology.

 

Do you know that in the Bible that we all claim to love and try to obey, there is only one person who ever uses that term? Jesus uses it one time in Matthew 16:18.

 

WE don’t own a church…and if we did…it wouldn’t be Jesus’s church.

 

It would be ours (and to be true, there are many, many of those.)

 

The word “church” in Matthew 16:18 refers to the “ecclesia” – the ONE of a kind assembly (singular) of ALL Christians. This is THE Body of Christ…never intended by God to be diced up into thousands of competing, autonomous organizations.

 

Yet, that is exactly what has been done to the Lord’s ONE church.

 

Because of this the world does not believe that the Father has sent Jesus and, therefore, it remains lost.

 

It makes me crazy!

 

It breaks my heart.

 

The world continues to believe (be living) in whatever comes down the pike and stays lost. It is WAY past time for us to be one in every way possible.

 

“...that they all may be one, 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.” (John 17:21)

 

Every single thing that we do in the Church today to separate ourselves from other Christians is in direct opposition to the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 and the result has been and continues to be separation and division.

 

The world does not believe that the Father sent Jesus. Jesus wanted them to believe that, so He equipped the disciples with something to make it happen: glory.

 

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” (John 17:22)

 

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures...” (Romans 1:20-23 NASB)

 

What glory do we receive in exchange for the glory of Christ in us?

 

We have OUR wonderful programs, OUR favorite version of the Bible, “OUR church”, our purpose and vision statements and….we end up with an identity far less than the one He has given us. We trade HIS GLORY for these paltry earthly things.

 

We must repent! We must be aware that this cheats us from the glory of Christ in us and it cheats the world from Jesus.

 

“For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 NASB)

 

“But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech…” (2 Corinthians 3:7-12 NASB)

 

What was the hope spoken of by Paul here? It is the glory of Christ in and through us.

 

The Body of Christ would do well to see itself in absolutely NO way other than in terms of being in Christ and to allow His glory to flow through us. When we do this people WILL believe on Christ, people WILL be drawn to HIM and….we will often be hated and/or marginalized and excluded by the parts of the Body of Christ that have adopted ways of the world to build God's kingdom using programs, slogans, systems, etc.

 

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” (John 17:22)

 

When exactly do we get this glory? We GOT it the moment we were saved and the purpose is that we may be unified – ONE in Christ

 

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)

 

We are in Christ, He is in the Father...He is in us...the Father is in Him, therefore we are completely enveloped in the Godhead. Jesus gives the reason for this: “that they may be made perfect in one.

 

It’s another way of saying that He did it so that we would be complete and so that the world will know without a doubt that the Father sent the Son.

 

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:” (John 17:22)

 

Jesus ached for us to be one. I believe He still does.

 

“I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23)

 

I believe THIS is what Jesus wants from us most of all.

 

Do we love Him enough to live as One in Christ?

 

Sadly, looking at the love most current Christians have for the division that exists in the Church today.....apparently we, as a group, do not. 

 

 

 

(Based on an excerpt from my book, “The Gospel of John – As Seen Through The Eyes of a Relative Nobody”)

 

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, Texas

© May 3, 2018

(For use with permission)

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