John 17:20-23 (The Message)
I’m praying not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me because of them, and their witness about me. The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind – just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they’ll be as unified and together as we are – I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you’ve sent me and loved them in the same way you’ve loved me.
There’s an old song that I love, titled “Just a closer walk with thee”. The desire to have a closer walk with Jesus has always been in my heart. When I first read this part of Jesus’ prayer, I was brought to tears. Jesus looked ahead and spoke this prayer for me. He prayed for all believers to be closer to him. My desire to be closer to him mirrors his desire for me.
Today, as I read this prayer, (The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind – just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us), I realize that my closeness to him is intertwined with my closeness to my fellow believers. This closeness, and the love that is displayed by our closeness to each other, will help others to come to know him.
In a world full of hate and self-interest, Jesus wants his followers to represent a counter culture. Through loving one another and loving him, we can be that counter culture to those around us with the goal of showing people God’s love.