“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” (Jn 17:22-23).
If you read the verses above and thought, “Didn’t Jay just write about these verses last time?” you would not be far off. Jesus’ words in this part of His prayer are almost identical to the verses just above that we wrote about last time. As Jesus prays to the Father in John chapter 17, there is a repetitive pattern to His prayer. I think this repetition is important.
Jesus is emphasizing these critical points: He and the Father are one. He is offering that same oneness to us. He is promising to be “I in them”; creating in us the experience of being one with the Father and with the Son. And He is praying that this oneness will flow into our relationships with each other.
And in all of this, Jesus drives home the point that all of this oneness between us and the Godhead is invisible. But we can make it visible to the world by how we practice unity in the Spirit as His followers. When the world sees this oneness in us, it will show that Jesus was indeed sent by the Father.
Jesus also brings love into the picture. Earlier in John chapter 13, Jesus revealed a new commandment that we love one another. He even went so far to say that our love for each other would be another evidence that we belong to Jesus, that we are Christ followers. Here we learn that our love for one another, our oneness in the Spirit all flow from the fact that God loves us just as He loves His Son.
In verse 22 above, Jesus adds a new dimension to His prayer, “The glory that You have given Me, I have given to them.” I have to admit, I rarely associate the word “glory” with us. I usually only equate glory with something about God.
So how does Jesus give us His glory? By coming to live in us. This fact alone makes you glorious. The apostle Paul calls it, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). As I have said on many occasions … “You are not the Deity, but you contain the Deity!” (II Cor 4:7). This makes you, even as you inhabit this planet in your earthen vessel, indeed glorious!
I like how Ted Dekker says it in his book, The Forgotten Way, when writing about these very verses. “You carry the presence of the glorious One with and within you. Therefore you are, by association, glorious. It is illogical to claim that Jesus lives within you and at the same time claim that you are not glorious. When properly understood, there is no pride in that reality. Just gratitude.”