VII. The Sermon: The Prayer of Jesus (Part 3) – Reverend Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church
The Sermon Passage: John 17: 20-26
Intro. What we usually mean by unity is that you agree with me. Or we can get unity through force. But this is not the type of unity that Christ has in mind.
Where can true unity be found? Is there a remedy to our disunity as sons and daughters of Adam and Eve? The punch line is yes and no.
The Big Idea: To the glory of God and as an incontravertable witness to the world, Christians are to manifest the unity of the Triune God in our life together.
I. Know the source of true unity (v. 21, 23; cf. 1 John 4:7-12).
Jesus prays for the 12 disciples AND those of us who believe on their account. If you believe in Christ and are his follower like the desciples too, then he is praying for you! The source of this unity is not that we all think alike or drive the same cars or live in the same place. Rather, the source of our unity is much deeper than that. It is in the fact that we bow the knee to a common Lord.
This is what is also amazing about flying all the way to Kenya and worshipping with other Christians there. Because we all worship the same Lord, this family unity is felt deeply even though we have different languages, worship styles, etc.
The reason the answer to “can we have unity” is yes and no, is that not all bow their knee to Christ. Yes, we have unity in Christ, but, no, not universally in this world right now.
II. Know the present purpose of unity (vv. 21, 23).
The world will want this beautiful unity but will not be able to get it. How does such a diverse group of people fit together, those who normally don’t come together in society? Our unity is to add to the beauty of the gospel. It is to be a living breathing reminder to the world that God has not forsaken his creation but is redeeming all things to himself.
We are to show the beauty of this gospel – where the loved Son was removed from the unity of the Godhead on the cross so we could have unity with God and his followers!
III. Keep the goal of unity in mind (vv. 24).
This unity around the Lord’s Table, for instance, is an amazing foretaste of the glory to come one day around the table of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. All the tribes and tongues will be around that table! This glorifies God to see those who once had hearts of stone worshipping with new hearts the one and only lamb of God.
20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, 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. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 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.”