I and the Father are one.
There are those who say that Jesus never claimed to be God. They have obviously never read this verse or those that follow — the ones where the Jews pick up rocks to stone Jesus for claiming to be God.
This morning, I was struck not by Jesus’ claim of divinity — that I take as a given — but by something else that He said. In John 17, verses 11 and 22, Jesus prays that believers would be one as He and the Father are one; that we would experience that same level of unity; that we would be both unique individuals — as are the Father, Son, and Spirit — and a unified, single whole. The idea struck me and I am not sure that the enormity of Jesus’ prayer hit home until this morning.
Jesus does not merely ask the Father for a unified church. There are plenty of unified religions in the world. He asks for something higher; something more profound. He asks that the Church; His Bride be one as He and the Father are One. He asks that many unique be made one whole. And, in so doing, He points me to what unity in the Body entails. He shows me, by the relationship between Himself and the Father, what my relationship with my fellow believers is to be. He is One God. He is also three unique individuals. We are one Bride; one Church. We are also unique individuals.
Can I truly say that of my brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we one? Or am I fractious and challenging?
Christ’s prayer that His Bride be one as He and the Father are one comforts me: my individuality is not to be sacrificed, but to be sanctified by Christ. The template referred to — the Oneness of the trinity — also gives some indication of what I should be expecting: different members of a single whole performing different works to further a common goal. The Father sends. The Son is sent. The Spirit empowers. And salvation is brought to mankind.
I feel as though I am rambling now, but my mind is reeling a bit at the enormity of the oneness asked by Christ. Not just unity, but oneness. Not conformity, but the mystery of individuals somehow making up a single whole. There are other patterns of oneness — organizations of various types and kinds — but none so profound or so complete as the Godhead.
In light of the oneness that Christ asked of the Father for me as a member of His Bride, how should I live?