John 17. Glory & Unity (Holy Week)

Our days are fractured and threatening, our search for unity in global rules, rights and markets is not working. Yet Jesus came to save this world, even though it is also his enemy, and he offers those who follow him unity that respects our differences and brings grace and strength to our cultures as well as our personalities. Our unity is found when we orbit our differences around the glory that God has given to Jesus – a glory of service and sacrifice where we can know God together in worship despite our differences.

Michael Flynn


John 17

For further thought

Glory and unity

Glory your Son, that your Son may glorify you (1-5)

Protect them by the power of your name (6-19)

That all of then may be one (20-26)

Glory and unity in the church

Q: What causes divisions in our world today?

Q: What causes divisions in our churches today?

Q: In Jesus prayer he prays for himself, his disciples and for us. For himself, that the Father may glorify him so he may glorify the Father, for the disciples the Father will keep them safe in the world by sanctifying them (setting them apart from the world) by the word Jesus has given them, for us who believe the apostle’s message (v20) that we may be unified with the Father and the Son (through the conviction of the Spirit, 16.7-11) and with each other and this unity of differences will be a witness to the world (v23). Why is living a life in God and unity between diverse people a powerful witness to a world that is normally set against God?

Q: Why is it important for us to know that Jesus prayed for his disciples to be kept in the truth he gave them? (See also John 14.25-26)

Q: Since John 12 Jesus has been saying that his time has come, the time for his glory to be revealed. He explains that his glory is his suffering (see John 1:14, 12:23-33). Why Jesus’ suffering part of his glory? How does the glory Jesus had before creation amplify the glory of his death?

Q: One challenge of Jesus’ prayer for churches today is that our experience of God and our unity is something we are to do together. Do we experience God in our life together? How do we show unity with people who are very different to us?