The Glory and Oneness of All Believers

I have given them the glory You have given Me. May they be one as We are one.
-John 17:22

Jesus prayed for his followers to be one.  Do you see this?  We have a paradox before us of disunity, or a lack of oneness; but Jesus prayed for just the opposite.

The church, his church, is being watched over, and interceded prayed for, by him.  And I believe that Jesus will fully get his prayers answered.  So I have great hope.

Jesus says that the glory that his Father gave him, he has given us.  And it appears that the glory is the mechanism or vehicle through which unity or oneness takes place.  Jesus has given us something that Father gave him, by which we can be one, as they are one.

Here is the wider context of this statement, underlined in the center:
I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.
May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You.
May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.
I have given them the glory You have given Me.
May they be one as We are one.

I am in them and You are in Me.
May they be made completely one, so the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
You see that a big part of the witness of believers is our oneness.  I imagine that some people might interpret Jesus words as just talking about doctrine or belief, and hear his asking and saying that we all believe the right thing.  But what I think he is saying or asking or talking about is functional oneness or unity.

One thing to understand about unity is that it does not mean uniformity.  It is like a carrot and a tomato come together in a pot as part of vegetable soup.  We don't insist that either become what the other one is and together, they make good soup.

Jesus prayed, "May they be one", but we kind of are not one, are we?  We can disagree, but still love each other.  There is a lot of disagreement between Christians today.

The argument is not for more agreement.  That would be climbing the wrong hill.  What we need is more love.

When we have an disagreement, we should have a discussion.  We can disagree with one another, while loving one another.  

What often happens with Christians, is that we make the mistake of making opinions or persuasions into absolutes, must-believes, hills-that-we-die on.  We end up defending a hill and even killing each other over hills of beans or hills of dung.

There really is only one hill that we should die on and that is Calvary or Golgotha.  That is Jesus, who he is, and what his death means.  That is the hill I will die on:
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus' name.  On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground in sinking sand."
When we die on other hills, we end up killing or injuring our brothers and sisters.  Jesus was pretty much killed because some of the experts disagreed with what he taught.  Jesus was misunderstood, envied, and maligned by the Bible experts of his day; who had a lot of knowledge and opinions and tradition, but lacked love and ended up following Satan.

I have been fascinated by this idea of the glory of God and it being the center of everything, since I dropped in on a lecture one day, by an elder named Bob F.  I want to ponder what this glory is, that Jesus is talking about, that brings oneness among believers.

I think maybe that the glory has something to do with honor.  Eastern culture probably values honor more than Western.    To honor is perhaps to lift someone else up, to shine the light on them.

Fathers make a platform for their children and children honor their parents.  Honoring our mothers and fathers is a big one with God, and it is in the ten commandments.  It says that if we do not honor them, our future will go poorly.

Jesus honored Father and we have the honor passed on to us of honoring one another.  The big one Jesus did, to honor his dad was the passion.  We massively honor one another as we lay down our lives for one another.

What does that mean?  It means lifting up others and shining the spotlight on others: deferring to others.  Many on us are control freaks.

We control because we are afraid not to control.  Controlling is rooted in fear.  If you are loved, you do not need to fear and control.

God holds us, in all our brokenness, until we have enough of his love internalized and integrated into us, to live our lives without fear and the need to control.  Many of us have not stayed in God's embrace or have pushed God away, and are out here, living fearful, controlling lives.

This is how we train our children and how God trains us.  Holding, loving, security, self-esteem built or re-built, and fear falls off and damaged emotions from all trauma is healed by love.  And most all of us still do have ongoing wounds that are being healed by God as well as scars from past hurts that have been healed.

And we all have vulnerable, thin skinned places that need love and patience.  Forgiveness is the currency of the kingdom that we spend daily; as we step on one another's toes, misunderstand, or bump one another.

We are a walking wounded, broken people, all on a journey of love and obedience to God, lived out among each other.  We all have brokenness.  We are overcomers who live with, in, and through personal brokenness all on a healing journey, with and in God.

To have this reality and graciousness towards each other, is to live in the glory that Jesus has given us to prefer, serve, and love one another.

Shameless, dishonoring people are in denial of their brokenness and live in fear and control.  This is the opposite of the way of love, the way of oneness with other believers, and the way or Christ.  People who seek to divide, control, and subjugate us with their religious rules and correct doctrines are not living in the glory given to us for oneness.

I am believing that the glory that Christ shares with his followers has to do with honor.  His glory is in us.  He is glorified through our lives.

That means that our lives are supposed to be about honoring him.  We give him glory (honor) in all we do.  What we say, what we watch and read, how we think, and how we talk.  It all gives glory to him.

We are given the glory so that we glorify God through how we treat others, specifically other believers.  When there is an unbroken chain of glory between Father, Christ, us, and each other; the world will see that it is all true.  The opposite is that when we do not participate in the glory, that the truth is obfuscated.