John 17 Lesson

Unity

JESUS PREPARES TO BE CRUCIFIED

Chapter 17 is a poignant chapter.   To fully appreciate it, we need to understand what is going on in Jesus’ life as He speaks to His Father in prayer.   His service on earth is coming to an end, and the cruel cross of Calvary awaits.   Very soon, Jesus will be glorified through His death, burial, and resurrection.   As He prepares Himself to rejoin His Father in heaven, His thoughts are with His disciples, and all His followers that will remain on earth.  Jesus was selfless until the very end.    

JESUS PRAYS FOR UNITY

Realizing that He is about to leave His disciples, Jesus offers a prayer to His Father on their behalf.   The prayer begins in verse one, and continues throughout the chapter, ending in verse twenty-six.   Jesus touches on several aspects during this prayer, however, unity is a recurring theme.   Jesus wants to make sure that when He is gone; His disciples stay together and remain focused on carrying out God’s wishes.   With the trials and tribulations that Jesus knows they will encounter, He wants to be certain that they will remain united (except for Judas who Jesus knows will betray Him, and of whom the prophets foretold).    

Unity is defined as, “The state of being one.”   The Bible has a lot to say about unity.   As Christians, we are to be united with one another.   Our values and our priorities should be the same because they come from the same source, the Bible.  

There is a beautiful hymn called, “A Common Love,”  written by Charles F. Brown.  This hymn talks about the unity that Christians should have with one another.   The lyrics from the chorus of that song are provided below.

“A common love for each other.   A common gift to the Savior.   A common bond holding us to the Lord.   A common strength when we’re weary.   A common hope for tomorrow.   A common joy in the truth of God’s word.”  

This song highlights six precious things that Christians have in common:

  1. A common love for each other,
  2. A commongift to the Savior,
  3. A common bond,
  4. A commonstrength,
  5. A commonhope,
  6. A common joy.

Click to hear "A Common Love" on YouTube (Used with permission)

UNITED BY OUR LOVE FOR JESUS

While we may come from backgrounds, speak different languages, and look different, we are united in our love for Jesus, and that is what is important!   Jesus teaches us that what we have in common is far more important than any differences we may have.  

As Christians, we should be practicing servant leadership.   We should live to serve Him by taking care of each other and following His commandments.

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT UNITY

The Bible has a lot to say about unity. For today’s lesson, we will highlight the following five verses:

  1. “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” - 1 Corinthians 1:10,
  2. “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;  not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. ” - 1 Peter 3:8,
  3. “Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” - Colossians 3:14,
  4. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity!” - Psalm 133:1,
  5. “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” - 2 Corinthians 13:11.

CONCLUSION

According to worldpopulationreview.com, approximately 1/3 of the world’s population identifies themselves as practicing some form of Christianity.   That represents more than 2.3 billion people.  

With differences in language, geography, and culture, how can so many people be united?   As Christians, we are unified by the things that we have in common:

  1. A commonlove for each other,
  2. A commongift to the Savior,
  3. A common bond,
  4. A common strength,
  5. A common hope,
  6. A common joy.

Our unity comes not from ourselves, but from our shared love of the Lord.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following words written by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians:

  • “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.” – Philippians 2:1-2.

Comments

Dan W

A great discussion of this chapter. We are united in a love for Jesus and the common faith (Jude v.3) in Him.

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Pat Dermody

If we ever needed to hear the word unity, it is now. Families divided. Country divided. World divided. In Jesus’ name, we pray for unity.

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Dan W

A great discussion of this chapter. We are united in a love for Jesus and the common faith (Jude v.3) in Him.

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Dan W

Thank you Brother. Did you sing, or hum the song, “A Common Love,” after reading?

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Myron1939@

Speaking of name I assume it is Jesus? JESUS is praying for his apostles and later for all believers. Also, again we are reminded that there is one God, Jesus Christ and God the Father.

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Johnee
Myron1939@

Thanks for Sharing

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