Daily Word

Unity for all in Us | John 17:20-21

20 “I do not pray for these alone [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for [all] those who [will ever] believe and trust in Me through their message, 21 that they all may be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe [without any doubt] that You sent Me.

John 17:20-21 (AMP)

Jesus has been praying for His disciples as He prepares for His death and their separation from Him. They will be confused and tempted to turn from the faith and scatter (as they actually do at the crucifixion – Matthew 26:56). He prays to the Father for them – for their protection, sanctification, and unity. It is an amazing prayer with effective power for all of them.

All disciples

Now he folds in the rest of all His disciples into the prayer. What does this tell us?

  • He is thinking about all His disciples through time – including you and me! Death was knocking on His door yet He was thinking about you and me and our growth as disciples.
  • He entrusts the 11 with being instrumental in all the succeeding disciples. Of course the Holy spirit abiding in them and the sanctifying work of the Father and constant intercession by Jesus Himself are the effectual part. But He still uses and counts on the disciples…and us.
  • There is mighty power in His prayer. Asking to sanctify 11 sinners was already a monumental task, well beyond the reach of any human. Now, He extends that to multiple millions down through the ages.

Unity for all in God

Jesus has already clearly stated that He and the Father are one in John 10:30, 10:38, 14:10 and 17:11. The things the Father does, Jesus does. The things the Father says, Jesus says. There is a perfect love relationship. Here in verse 21 He states the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. 

He wants that same oneness among the disciples – not just the 11 but all disciples. Paul instructs us in  Philippians 2:2 to live in unity. There are a number of examples of this played out in the church. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42). “This was a time when “all the believers were together and had everything in common” (Acts 2:44).” (gotquestions.org)

We are one in Him as the body of Christ. We are not gods or equal with God in any way. But we are the body of Christ and as such, we are in Him.

End goal

The end goal of unity is that the world may believe (and keep on believing – which is the Greek meaning) that the Father sent the Son. When the world sees unity across racial, economic, social status, political affiliation, etc., they can know there is some mighty power behind it.


  • Thank the Lord He was thinking of us all along and praying for us.
  • Are we seeking unity? Consider the brothers and sisters around you, even family. Are we seeking to find ways to agree rather than disagree?
Unity hands locking in circle. Image from Pxfuel.com

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