Because of John’s unique perspective of Jesus, he focuses His Gospel account on different things from the other Gospel writers. One of the things he focuses on is Christ’s desire to restore unity with between His people and His Father. It was a focal point of John’s writing to emphasize that unity that we all enjoy when we are under the umbrella of Jesus Christ.
As Jesus journeys from the Upper Room to Gethsemane, He prayed. And a central point of His prayer is a plea for unity among His believers patterned after the unity of the Godhead. He prays for us, that we might be one in Him as He is One with His Father: “Father, I pray for those that will believe on Me through their Word. Father, let them all be one, as You and I are One; that through their unity, the world may be blessed.”
This is a prayer for our consecration. Historically, consecration was connected with outside things. Exodus tells us that the consecrated were identified by the garments they wore and by offering certain sacrifices. But in this prayer of Jesus, consecration takes on a different meaning. Jesus is saying that it doesn’t matter what we have on the outside, we must have Something on the inside. The consecrated heart is yielded to the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit can do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. And one thing the Holy Spirit will do for us is bring us into unity.
Unity gives us our identity. It tells us that we belong somewhere. In Jesus, we know who we are; in Jesus, we know that we are loved and valued; in Jesus we know that we’re a part of the family. It’s good to have an identity, and the only place to find your identity is in unity with Jesus Christ.
Unity with Jesus makes us stronger. In Christ, we have the strength to meet His mandate of evangelism, discipleship and ministry. In Christ we can model His servant’s heart and make a difference. In Christ, we can serve as a source of spiritual light shining out in a dark world.
Unity with Jesus gives us a future. Jesus doesn’t just pray for our present, but He prays for our future: “Father, I want those You’ve given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory.” That tells us that He’s not just concerned about our here-and-now, but He’s concerned about our hereafter.
This is just for a little while. Soon, we will have to try the realities of another world. And if we don’t have anything else to look forward to, then we are in a hopeless position. But Jesus said that He wants us to be with Him and to see His glory. And that reminds us that our unity with Him doesn’t have a parting moment, but will be forever and ever.