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Passage: John 17:20-26

Speaker: Mitch Kim

That The World Might Know

Jesus is the hope, light, and Savior of the world. For the world to know this hope, light, and salvation, though, they must believe in Jesus. How will the world come to believe in Jesus? Jesus prays for the church’s unity to catalyze the world’s faith in John 17. Last week we saw his focus on the few, in raising disciples who lived from their relationship with God though His Word and prayer. While Jesus did not pray for the world (John 17:9), he does pray for those who would believe through the word of his disciples (John 17:20). And his prayer is that the unity of the church might bring about the salvation of the world (17:21). How is that possible? A unity that will bring the world to believe is possible through prayer, Jesus’ presence, and a greater revelation of the Father.

            First we need to pray (John 17:20–21). Jesus shifts his attention not only to his disciples but all those who believe through their word, and he prays that they may all be one (John 17:21). This unity would cause the world to believe. Such prayer is critical. As we see the polarization of our nation, the key is not to convince others of our opinions but to pray for others more. When we spend more time in the nightly news and news feed than the good news and God’s Word, then we will become more polarized and outraged. However from our knees we can breathe life to others. Unity is possible only through prayer.

            Also we need Jesus’ presence (John 17:22–23). Only Jesus’ presence with his people can bring perfect unity. He declares, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me” (17:23). His presence is powerful, and his presence can bring unity in what was formerly divided. We desperately need that presence to bring unity.

            Finally we need a greater revelation of the Father (John 17:24–26). Jesus prays that they might know the Father in greater measure. Only the love that comes from the Father can overflow through us to bless and transform those who are around us!

            So what? Only a church united can heal a nation divided. But the unity of the church is hard work. Let us cry out to God in prayer for more of Jesus’ presence and a greater revelation of the Father’s love. Only that power can bring the unity that our world desperately needs.