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John54 – the family likeness

“In fact, I ask not concerning these only, but also concerning those believing into me through the word of them, that everyone may be one, just as you yourself, father, in me also I in you, that they also may be in us, in order that the world may believe that you yourself sent me out.” (John 17: 20)
John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus of Nazareth is continuing to recall the evening before Jesus’ AD 30 crucifixion in Jerusalem. Jesus, in the presence of his AD 30 disciples in the upper room, has been praying to his father (John 52 and John 53). Above he asked his father “concerning those believing into me” through “the word” (the lives and testimony) of his AD30 disciples. These include today’s Jersey Christians. 

Jesus’ wish for these (AD 30 and post-AD 30) disciples is that “they may all be one.” How strange. How can dead (as it were) AD 30 disciples be “one” with today’s disciples? They can’t be brought to dialogue together.

Try looking more closely, He prayed that these dead (as it were) and living disciples “may all be one just as” – in the same way as – the father and the son are one. The father is in the son. The son is in the father. This prayer of Jesus within hours of his death on that criminal’s cross is that AD 30 disciples and all post-AD 30 disciples will be “in us”

And the purpose behind that is that, when this prayer will have been answered by the father, “the world may see that you sent me out.” That is, “the world” may come truly to know that Jesus, the man, is in fact the one and only son of the father above. Having seen the family likeness of Jesus and his father in earlier disciples, they become disciples themselves. But what is so glorious about father and son is that, when the disciples (in any century) become like them, “the world” then believes in Jesus, sent by, and one with, the father.

“And I, the glory that you have given to me, I have given to them, in order that they may be one, just as we: one.”

The Father has given his glory to the son. The son has given his glory, given to him by the father, to them. Not only to the AD 30 disciples but also to those who will “believe into” him after AD 30. 

What exactly is this “glory” of father and son - which (Jesus prayed) will be the glory of his disciples of every generation? Have you seen any “glory” in today’s disciples of Jesus that demonstrates that they, today, are one with the father and the son?

“I in them, and you in me, in order that they may be having been perfected into one, in order that the world may know that you yourself sent me out and loved them just as you loved me.” 

The oneness for which Jesus was praying becomes clearer. It’s a familial oneness – a familial spirit with all who have that spirit (that life) being united in being like Jesus who gave himself so as to save his enemies. Such is his love-in-action. And that of his father. And of his disciples, he prayed. 

“Father, those you have given to me, I desire that where I myself am those same ones may be with me, that they may observe my own glory that you have given to me because you loved me before a putting-down of the world.” 

The AD 30 disciples and the post-AD 30 disciples are all included in this prayer. What kind of “glory” has been given by the father to the son? Is it not the “glory”, not only of willing to become a human being and to give his human life for his enemies but also actually doing it? When the disciples are, Jesus says, “where I am” (wherever that may be), they will be “with him” observing his “glory” given him by his father who willingly gave his son for that purpose.

“Righteous father, although the world knew you not, in fact I knew you, and these know that you yourself sent me out.”
Jesus brings his prayer to a close. He addresses his father as “righteous” because this is not a father who could ever say that unrighteousness doesn’t matter. The world tried to say that. They didn’t know the father. Things had to be like this for the son; if not, the father’s enemies could never be forgiven. 

“And I made known to them your name, and I will make known in order that the love that you loved me may be in them, and I in them.” 

Jesus intends, through what his disciples become, to make known the love-in-action of the father above. Father and son will be in them. All will be one.

Sinner Syvret

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