A Prayer for Unity
John 17:21
That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us…

I. LOOK AT THIS PRAYER IN THE LIGHT OF PENTECOST. Within two months from the utterance of the prayer, the apostles, through their spokesman Peter, uttered forth their first great word concerning their glorified and ascended Master, and in that same day there was added to the apostles about three thousand souls. Thus within this short time the first company of them believing in Jesus through the word of his apostles made its appearance. Jesus was not turning a bare possibility into a certainty when he referred so confidently to those who would believe in him through the word of his servants. What faith he had in humanity! Some who have watched and, as they would say, studied mankind, speak of them as a physician might speak of some one very ill, when he says the sick person cannot possibly get better. Jesus, on the other hand, is the Physician, who, while he allows that things are indeed very bad, magnifying our natural misery and helplessness to the utmost, yet at the same time proclaims in trumpet-tones a real cure, though the only one. Three thousand were added to the apostles. They all became one company, not only in spirit, not only in ultimate aim and hope, but in the most literal meaning of the word. Thus at Pentecost there came an outward unity such as the world had never seen before.

II. LOOK AT THE DISCORDS AND BREACHES THAT SOON MADE THEIR APPEARANCE. The unity of Pentecost did not and could not last; it was but the outcome of a fervid, first love, and as time rolled on those who had been thus united lapsed into their old separation and contrariety. The old man, full grown and vigorous, is not to be dispossessed by the new creature in Christ Jesus without a serious struggle. Even in the first days a Meat deal happened that might almost make one think the disciples of Jesus set no store at all by their Master's prayers, and never troubled to recollect the desires on which he had set his heart. No proper means was taken to nourish and cherish the power of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of all the believers. Thus it is little wonder the widows had to complain that they were neglected in the daily ministrations. Little wonder, too, that Peter, the very leader on the Day of Pentecost, proved unfaithful to the principle of Christian unity. He either forgot or had never properly comprehended that in Jesus there is neither Jew nor Gentile; and so he wanted Gentiles to become Jews before he would allow them to be Christians.

III. WHAT WE INDIVIDUALLY MUST DO FOR UNITY. Jesus wants the world to believe that the Father has sent him - sent him out of another world where all is harmony, into a world where, apart from him, all is discord. And the world will only believe when it sees beautiful, lovable things done under its very eyes. We must each of us be a real unity, entirely in accord with Jesus our Master, even as he was in entire accord with his Father. As the Father was seen in Jesus, so the Christ should be seen in us. The spirit of the loving, laboring, life-giving Jesus should be worked into the very foundation of our nature; then that small part of the world which has to do with us may indeed believe that One has been sent from heaven to make men into a happy and united family. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

WEB: that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.

Unity in Christ
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