Only a little while after Jesus speaks to His disciples about the life of Abiding, He spontaneously begins to pray in their hearing. First, for His work at the Cross; then His ongoing work through the disciples; then for them, personally.
And then comes one of the most dramatic moments in all of the Gospels, as Jesus prays His final words before His arrest:
“I am not praying only for these men but for all those who will believe in me through their message..." That's us! That's every single Believer who has sprung up since the birth of the Church! And what does He pray for us? "...that they may all be one." One. A singular Body. But how could that ever be a human possibility? He goes on: "Just as you, Father, live in me and I live in you, I am asking that they may live in us..." Our personal Abiding, our dwelling-in the One who indwells us, is the only path to unity in the Body. And what does that unity accomplish? "...that the world may believe that you did send me." Our Union with Jesus and the fruits of that Abiding prove the reality of Jesus' being sent by the Father. And, in the tragic inverse, if we aren't Abiding in Him, we are daily disproving that He was sent by the Father. Wow!
"I have given them the honor that you gave me, that they may be one, as we are one—I in them and you in me, that they may grow complete into one..." It is impossible for the Body of Christ to disunite while its members all have their eyes on Jesus and, through Him, the Father. As He and the Father are one, so too are all those who daily Abide in Him. And why does our corporate unity matter? "...so that the world may realize that you sent me and have loved them as you loved me." The unity of the Body of Christ proves the reality of Jesus' being sent by the Father. And, in the tragic inverse, our disunity daily disproves that He was sent by the Father to the world around us. Wow!
And how does Jesus end His prayer over us, over our personal lives and over the corporate life of the Church? "Father, I want those whom you have given me to be with me where I am; I want them to see that glory which you have made mine—for you loved me before the world began. Father of goodness and truth, the world has not known you, but I have known you and these men now know that you have sent me. I have made your self known to them and I will continue to do so that the love which you have had for me may be in their hearts—and that I may be there also."
Jesus, the One who measured time by His Cross, Resurrection and Ascension, always lives to live His life in and through us! By His power, and by His Abiding Presence in our individual lives, He is able to unite His Body in His prayed-for unity. Oh, will we abide in Him today, brothers and sisters? Will we play our part that makes the whole one?