Have you ever seen someone at the mall or out around town and you know that you know that guy but you can't place exactly who he is or where you know him from? I hate that moment. What makes it even more enjoyable is when "that guy" comes up to you, because he recognizes you, and starts a conversation where you are expected to understand what he is talking about. The other thing that can happen is where you know who it is you see and you hope with all that is in you that they didn't see you because you really don't want them to engage you. And yet they do see you and ironically they are feeling the same way and make manuvers to evade a possible run in.
Either way its a wee bit awkward......
How exactly does this fit into our reading today? Well, in John 17:20-26 Jesus is finishing a prayer for his disciples, the disciples to come and the world as a whole. He is about to be arrested and lead to his death in front of a nation of people screaming for his death with a sense of accomplishment and joy, and here he is praying for those who will be radically effected by what is about to happen in the coming hours.
Jesus was praying for us that night. (John 17:20). We are recipients of that message. And what is it that he is praying for? He is praying for unity. That we would all be one. That just as Jesus was in the father and the father was in Jesus we are afforded that kind of relationship with one another and with Christ and ultimately with the Father.
But why is it sooooo important that we are one with each other and with the father in heaven?
John 17:21-23 - Jesus makes it plain so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one; I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as yo have loved me.
We have been given his glory that we might point a world that has no clue who he is toward him, toward life, toward salvation. and toward a savior and God who loves them with all that is in them. He makes very clear (not that he really needed to, since we can see this clearly in our own world) that the world does not know him in verse 25.
There is a really challenge that has been given to us in this short little passage and with it comes several if not many questions that we need to begin to ask ourselves as followers of Christ.
Do I find that I am more often than not fighting those in the church or moving toward unity for the gospel of Christ?
Through my own actions and interactions with people both in and out of the church am I someone that people see Christ in? Do I point people in the world toward a savior in all that I say and do?
Am I making every effort to Make Jesus Known in a world that doesn't know Him?
Do I have the Love of Christ in my life? If so how is that spilling over into the unity of the church and efforts to point others toward Christ? If not what is it that I am allowing to become barriers between me and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and how is that affecting my pointing others toward Christ?
We have to remember that we have been sent. We are on a mission as followers of Christ. Just as Christ was sent by his Father. Everything that Jesus does and says points back to the Father. He never did anything on his own accord or for his own glory. It is one of the more dominate themes in the gospels (especially John); this idea of being sent.
And just as Jesus was sent and did what his Father was instructing him to and was continually pointing others back toward him, Jesus sends us. John 17:18 - "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world." We have been sent. Are we willing to go?
But before we can really go and before we can really point people to Christ, we need to make sure that we are truly moving as one. In unity. The bible is clear, on multiple fronts, about the fact that our unity within the body of Christ is a foundational piece of our witness to a world who knows nothing about Christ. John 13:35 - "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 17:21-23 (stated earlier) Matthew 5:44 - Love your enemies. Luke 10:27 - Love God with all that you are and Love others.
When people look at you or see you from a distance do they have a feeling that they "Know that guy" because they are seeing Christ or do simply resemble another person in the world?
As Christ has made God known to us, we in turn, through his power and glory are to MAKE HIM KNOWN to a world who hasn't yet met him.