Jesus Prays for You
Just before His death, Jesus prays for you. He prays for what we all long for. Relational depth. Secure friendships. Life-long, purposeful connection. Unity. The whole thing hinges on Himself, as His sacrifice on the cross brings God great praise and us great relationship with Him and each other.
Jesus asks the Father to be glorified, knowing that the revealing of who Jesus is on the cross (the unveiling of God’s justice and love) shows off the majesty of God while bringing the people of God together in Him (vv1-5). Jesus asks for the disciples that they would come together as one, being marked and sent into the world by God, that many would come to know God (vv6-19). Then He prays for you and me, that we would be one with Him and each other, enjoying rich relationship.
Relationship is other centered. God: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, is the most glory deflecting group of people around. Each of them can’t wait to take a giant spot light and shine it on the other. The Father can’t contain Himself a couple of times in His Son’s life, shouting from the heavens at Jesus’ baptism and transfiguration: “That’s my boy! I love Him! What a pleasing son! Follow Him! Listen to Him! Do what He says!” Jesus spends every other teaching opportunity telling people how great His Father is. The Spirit comes onto the scene with Jesus’ recommendation, “It will be so much better for you when the Spirit gets here!” Jesus says. “He is the man!” Then we see the Spirit keep kicking it back to Jesus, leveraging His power to remind people of all Jesus taught and did, highlighting Him! These guys can’t get enough of shouting about how great the other is, and living in a way that makes much of the other. Unity, the presence of relational depth, security, and purpose overflows from God.
The glory of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection draws us into this relationship with God. We are right in the middle of it, tossed around in their love. Together, we get to take part in shouting about how great God is, and living to say it’s true. We are one with Him, the foundation of our oneness with each other. The answering of Jesus’ prayer in your life, and the consequent enjoyment of deep, purposeful, secure relationships with one another relies on where you find yourself in relationship to Jesus. You must find yourself in a relationship with God and others, under and around Christ.
To find yourself under Christ is to do life in alignment to Jesus. The unified church finds herself under the supremacy of Christ, reshaping the habits and actions of our individual lives under and obedient to the lordship of Christ. Our unity as Jesus followers increases as the alignment of our lives comes more and more in line with the commands of Christ. Put Jesus at the top of a triangle, and many individual followers of Him at the bottom two points: bankers, lawyers, moms, dads, singles, young, old, black, white, rich and poor. Next, individuals start investigating every area of life and aligning themselves to Christ. Take money for example. The banker starts figuring out what it would look like to give generously to others, aligning herself to Christ. At the same time a newly graduated single is asking the same kinds of questions about his finances. The two, in process and result are drawn together in their alignment to Jesus, though they share little else in common. Moms and lawyers pursue integrity under Jesus. Black and white seek justice under Christ. As every aspect of our lives, common to life itself, finds itself under the alignment of Jesus, we will find ourselves unified with each other in deep, purposeful, secure relationships, under Him.
To find yourself around Christ is to do life purposefully in relationship to Jesus. The unified church finds herself centered around the supremacy of Christ. Our unity as Jesus followers increases as the intention of our lives is centered more and more around coming to know Christ. Put Jesus in the center of a circle, and us as individual followers of Him around the edges. The rich sit at the table with the poor pursuing the same goal, knowing Christ. Bibles open, hands linked in prayer, lives humbled with the same desire. Democrats and republicans shed platforms to pursue their common King, together. Alienation and distance shrink as all come around helping each other deepen in their relationships with the one, centered Christ. Unity flourishes with the knowledge of Him, not only as all draw close to Him, but as He implants Himself in us to reshape our hearts. The transformation brought by the Spirit, in knowing Christ, opens our lives to humble, generous, repentant and forgiving lives, stoking the fire of our relationships. As every aspect is leveraged to know Jesus, we will find ourselves unified with each other in deep, purposeful, secure relationships, around Him.
Where must you pray like Jesus towards unity: Is there an area of your life out of alignment with Christ? Is there an area of your life taking center stage away from the knowledge and love of Christ? Spend time talking with God about these things. Then, open them up to others in the church, and watch your relationships become deeper, more purposeful, and secure, under and around Christ.