20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 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. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 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. 24 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. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 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.”
This section is often titled “Jesus prays for all believers”, but the content is less about the believers as individuals, and more about the believers as a body.
Once again, there are some important foundations for Jesus’ prayer: (i) Jesus and the Father are totally united in one another (v21), (ii) God has given Jesus glory and this has been passed on to the believers (we saw previously that this glory is eternal life, which is to know God) (v22), (iii) the believers have knowledge of Jesus and the Father (v26) (iv) Jesus’ promise to continue to make the Father known so that the Father’s love would be in believers (v26).
The prayer is that these truths would be reflected in the believers in: (i) their unity together in love (v21-23,26) and (ii) their destiny of being with Jesus and seeing his glory (v24). Good doctrine (truth) reflects in both unity and eternity. The purpose of this request is that the world, seeing the unity of the believers would know the reality of Jesus and his love (v21,23). As we saw a couple of weeks ago, Jesus and the Father are glorified as people come to know him in eternal life.
So maybe, we can model this prayer of Jesus in these words, “Heavenly Father, I honour the perfect unity of you, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. May we, your people, see the glory of Jesus and be with him. May this glory of unity be reflected now in us, your people, so that the world will know you. I will continue to make you and your love known everywhere I go.”
With love and blessing,