All One — the Father, the Son, the Spirit and Us

The hour had come. Jesus finished His talk in the Upper Room and led His disciples toward Gethsemane.

“I have overcome the world,” the Savior announced to them just before this. He pronounced this as a statement of reality. And yet the climactic elements of His victory were still to come. The Son was certain of what He was about to do. He had no doubt about where the plan of redemption was headed.

At the start of John 17, Jesus lifted His eyes to Heaven. He then spoke a prayer over His disciples and over all believers who would come to know Him and His Salvation.

The result of His Finished Work would be all glory for the Son and for the Father and also glory for all of the followers of the Light who had come into the world.

Jesus’ work of redemption secured for Him and for Heaven the power over all flesh. He gained through His obedience as Man the way to give eternal life. The Lord reclaimed what had been forfeited by Adam in his fall. He won the war for the souls of men. He defeated the power of sin and death.

Why did Jesus have to fight this fight and win decisively and perfectly? Because of the wages of sin that were required. He paid those wages with His death and gave to us His righteousness and holiness. The Presence of the Lord was made available to all who call upon His Name.

What this really means for us is summed up in John 17.

Clarity and Definition

The prayer we read is one of definition. Jesus brings clarity and focus to who He is and also to who we are in Him. He tells us that “life eternal” is this:  “Knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ” whom the Father sent (see John 15:3). He talks of the what, the where, and the when of Himself. He tells of the eternity of His being, establishing the fact that He possessed glory in the presence of the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5).

He turns to thanksgiving as He describes those who were given to Him. The Son saw these disciples and all disciples as gifts delivered to Him out of the world.

What brought about this deliverance were the “words” the Father gave Jesus to speak. Those words were believed, received, and kept. These disciples, He told the Father, “have known surely that I came from You, and they have believed that You did send Me” (see John 17:8).

Keep in mind that Jesus is saying all of these things before Calvary, before the denials of Peter, before the scattering of the others. The Christ understood what His work was going to do to each of these men. We could say, I think, that Jesus declared supreme faith in what His work as the Son of Man would accomplish.

This work was going to bring about a oneness, a wholeness that is made clear in this sentence: “All Mine are yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (John 17:10).

All of us who believe in Jesus are His and because we are His, we are also the Father’s very own. Click To Tweet

That, to me, is such a radical statement of identity. All of us who believe in Jesus are His and because we are His, we are also the Father’s very own.

“I am glorified in them.” Heaven and earth, eternity and time are brought together in the Son, and we are His glory. What is more, He said that His joy is fulfilled in us (John 17:13).

May we allow that declaration to sink deep into our hearts and minds.

Sanctified in a Hostile World

It is clear to me that the disciples were quite oblivious to the profundity of these statements at the time. The atmosphere was thick with demon activity. The prince and power of the air darkened minds and stoked rage and fear. Weary and bewildered, and no doubt frightened, the disciples tried to hang close to their Master. They struggled to stay awake in prayer in the garden. Their spirits were willing, but their flesh was so weak — it was no match for the supernatural projections that swamped the scene.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit would draw these John 17 truths back to their minds.

The Spirit had to do this, for the Jesus followers’ mission did get really, really big. All that they saw was to prepare them for something worldwide in scope and generational in effect.

“Sanctify them in the Truth, Your Word is Truth” (John 17:17).

By virtue of their union with the Son, who is the Truth, they gained an everlasting status of separation. No longer did they belong to the world, Jesus said. They would still be in this world, but they were no longer of it.

This reality would be sometimes uncomfortable for the world hates those who refuse to live by its ways and means. Struggles and conflict awaited these called out ones. But by their witness, the one true God would be made known far and wide – all the way to the uttermost parts.

Sanctified in Truth — what they heard made them new and set them apart. As Jesus was sent into this world, so did He send them. He asked for their protection from the evil one. The message they carried was and is the only hope for man.

In Him by Love

These disciples, like the Son, would be sent with words from above and they shared those words, and because they were shared we are who we are in Christ, for Jesus prayed this way:  “I do not ask for these only, but for those who will believe in Me through their word” (John 17:20).

Even before the Cross and the tomb, we were in the picture as members of the Body of Christ. Jesus spoke of us and of the oneness only He could make possible, a oneness that is incomprehensible.

The promises made here tell of how all of us saints shall be as one with the Father as the Son is one with the Father. This, Jesus said, would be the thing recognized even by those of the world; our oneness in love and truth cannot be ignored. This oneness and love may be opposed, but as we have seen down through the ages, this oneness cannot be dismissed.

It is an eternal reality. Those who come to Christ are one, perfectly one in Him, never to be divided from their place in Him and in the Kingdom of the righteous Father. Jesus awaits the majestic and marvelous moment of our gathering and fulfillment:

I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

How does one end such a prayer as this? Jesus closes with a great call for love.

“O righteous Father … I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:28).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Andrulonis
Latest posts by Steve Andrulonis (see all)