Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on John 17:20-26

“I do not   ask for these only, but also for those   who will believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:20-26 (ESV)

Jesus is praying for us. Not the disciples, but Christians "who will believe in me through their word."
What does he pray for? Unity. Not uniformity, but harmony around the gospel.
Unity is togetherness like the Trinity.

Seven ways to foment division (what to NOT do):
1. Talk about people, not to them.
2. Draw conclusions quickly without hearing both sides.
3. Expect perfection from others and remember your pain for a long time.
4. Let secondary matters put a wedge between you and others.
5. Think that no one really understands you.
6. When you have a side, send out a mass email or facebook post, to try to get others to join your side.
7. When you have issues with someone, deal with them quickly and publicly.

Jesus prayed and prays for unity. This is not only the last minute request of a dying man. It is the ongoing prayer of a risen King. There is hope.

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