Jesus prayed for unity among believers

In John 17, Jesus prayed for his followers, both then and now. 

It’s important for us to remember that these aren’t just the prayers of some random guy. Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God! Therefore, what Jesus prays for you IS God’s will for you. Hopefully that perks up your ears and heart.

Here’s something he prayed for which is often missed: He prayed for unity among believers.

In fact, it’s the topic he addressed most in this prayer.

He prayed that his followers:

-“may be one, even as we [he and his heavenly Father] are one” (verse 11, ESV);
-“that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (verse 21);
-“that they may be one even as we are one” (verse 22);
-“that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (verse 23).

Wow, that’s a whole lot of unity!

These days we can customize a lot of things. The internet and smart phones have shaped our thinking more than we realize. We can delete this, add that, change this, and modify that. There are times when that is good. But there are also times when that is an unhealthy approach to building meaningful community.

Jesus’ prayer should encourage all of us to think of our togetherness in the body of Christ very deliberately. We are not consumers of spiritual services, but proactive contributors to the body of Jesus.

On the night before his torture and crucifixion, Jesus prayed for unity among believers. And he prayed for it multiple times.

May your deliberate participation in the body of Christ be an indication not only of your love for God, but for his other children.


–“Hope over the long haul – a talk with Winston Newman.” I was pleased to interview Winston on Easter morning. You can click here to listen or watch, or tune in to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you listen to podcasts. 

–Bible quotes are from the ESV.

–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on April 17th, 2023.

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