The Last Night (John 13-17) – Unity in the Word for Mission

Peter Barnes | John 17:20-21

Ephesians 2:14-18; 4:1-6; John 17:20-26

– Jesus now prays for the Church down through the ages (17:20-26).

1. We are to believe in Christ through the apostolic Word.

– 17:20; note 14:26; 15:27. Also John 21:24.

– The apostles were men who needed grace, but they were given the very word of God – Rom.10:14-17; 1 Cor.15:11; 1 Thess.2:13.

2. We are to be one with all Christians.

– 17:21a. Leon Morris: ‘This does not mean that the unity between the Father and the Son is the same as that between believers and God. But it does mean that there is an analogy.’

– Isa.11:13; 1 Cor.1:10-13. There is to be a unity of purpose, love, action, mind, and spirit.

– Francis Schaeffer: ‘It is perfectly possible to have organizational unity, to spend a whole lifetime of energy on it, and yet to come nowhere near the kind of unity that Jesus is talking about in John 17.’

3. This will help in the evangelising of the world.

– 17:21b. Thomas Manton: ‘Divisions in the church breed atheism in the world.’ Jesus says something similar about love between Christians

– John 13:34-35. It is heresy to unite with false believers; but it is schismatic not to unite with true believers.