Continuing our focus on the Unity of the Church, see next the…
Unity in Mission
In v21 and v23 we find similar reasons as to why Jesus wants to unify His Church. In the end of v21 Jesus gives a reason for this Trinitarian unity in the Church, namely, “…so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” Similarly in the end of v23 says, “…so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You have loved Me.”
This is massive, do not miss this.
The unity within the Church is a unity modeled after the unity of God in the community of glory within the Trinity. Thus, when the Church lives in unity with one another something miraculous is seen by the watching world. The character of the Trinitarian God is put on display in the Church, and when the character of God is on display in the Church, people will believe 2 things: 1) v21, that Jesus has come from God, and 2) v23, that in Jesus God has loved us with a Trinitarian love. The unity within the Church exists to be itself a visible representation of the invisible community of the Trinity.
You may not realize how practical John 17 is being right now so let me point it out to you.
Because so much is at stake I the unity of the Church, can you now see how vital unity is to the salvation of the lost? Can you see how wicked gossip within the Church is? Can you now see how wicked holding a grudge within the Church is? Can you now see how devastating public sin is within a local church? An un unified local church dishonors God, hurts Christ’s sheep, and tells the world a blatant lie about who God is and what He is all about.
Therefore, if we really learned to see one another as we are in Christ (redeemed, adopted, cleansed, commissioned, loved, and equipped) we would treat one another differently.
We would strive with one another for greater unity.