“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
A great majority of the world is yet to believe that Jesus is sent from God to save them. But how will they believe this? Jesus’ prayer suggests that the world will believe this when the future believers would become one with each other and with Jesus and God. For Jesus, “Oneness” of believers is a powerful persuasive witness in evangelism. It is not an end in itself, but it will result ultimately world evangelism. What did Jesus mean by the “oneness” of believers? Surely, it is not the uniformity of external appearance or the unanimity of agreement among them, but the oneness of heart, attitude, motive, and purpose in which God alone is glorified. Jesus explains the “oneness” by illustrating his relationship with God, “just as you are in me and I am in you.” Jesus was one with God in spirit and truth. He manifested the attributes of God. He was submissive to the will of God for himself and for the world. He lived a life absolutely surrendered to God, without selfishness, pride, and arrogance. Such a relationship with God through Jesus results “oneness.” Individual believers are called to be intentional in practicing selflessness, submission to god’s will and purpose, humility, a sincere concerns for others, and godliness on daily basis. God has already answered the prayer of Jesus in the fellowship of saints where we see such “oneness,” while in other places He wants the believers to work out their salvation in such a way that they may see the fruits of Jesus’ prayer in their lifetime.