A Seven Day John 17 Journey to Unity

Introduction
We’re challenging followers of Christ to break through the barriers that divide us and to embrace one another in the eternal love and timeless truth of John 17. Let’s examine the Holy Scriptures in order to know and experience the One whom it reveals, Jesus, the Holy Word who, in the beginning, was with God and is God. With this seven-day reading plan developed with our friends at American Bible Society, we will focus on the things in each of us that keep us from loving one another and serving our communities together. As we align ourselves with Jesus, the Word made flesh, the world around us will know that he is Lord and Christ.

Day 1: Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

John 17: After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. 2 For you gave him authority over all people, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. 3 And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4 I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do. 5 Father! Give me glory in your presence now, the same glory I had with you before the world was made.”

John 17 has been called the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not the familiar ten-line “Our Father” that most of us know by heart. This more lengthy prayer is best known for this simple line: “I pray that they may all be one” (v 21).

Yet there is so much more here. John 17 is a chapter-long prayer that Jesus prayed in the Upper Room the same night he celebrated the Last Supper with his friends. Unlike his prayer of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, this prayer is full of hope as he anticipates his death and resurrection.

Jesus knows he has authority over all people, not to Lord it over them, but to give them the gift of eternal life. The gift of being his child and experiencing his perfect love for eternity is incredible. It’s a privilege to share his gift with others and serve him as we serve them.

Jesus has brought glory to the Father by doing everything the Father required. He did it by finishing the work. As his physical life ended on the Cross, he cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). These three words in English are the translation of a single term in the original Greek of the New Testament: tetelestai. It is a power word, a word of fulfillment, completion, even perfection. Jesus’ work on earth wasn’t just over and done. It was done perfectly.

Also, please notice in the verse above that nothing in the life of our Lord was random. Everything was purposeful. Jesus never doubted that his Father was in control of his life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, who fulfilled your eternal purpose for him and for us. Jesus, thank you for glorifying your Father and giving us eternal life. We will live forever with one another in your presence, but we are grateful for your presence in this life. Every moment in our day is special, purposeful, and full of your love and life. As you are the Son of the Father, we are sons and daughters of God with you. Because we share the same Father, we are one. Amen.

Going Deeper

Religion says, “Do.” Grace says, “Done.” What does the finished work of Christ mean to you? How is that informing and shaping your present? How do these verses from John 17 lead you to love and value others?

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