John 17.1-26 – That they may participate in our oneness

(17.1) When he’d finished saying all this, Jesus looked up to the starry sky and said “Papa, it’s time.  Let’s show them what we’re made of.  (2) You have given all people into my hand, so that to all of them I might give our own infinite aliveness, (3) the superabundant life of sharing in our knowing of each other with Sarayu. (4) I have revealed you.  I have fulfilled your desires.  I have finished the job. (5) My trust has pierced the veil that hides your face from human eyes.  Now it’s time for us to shred the veil completely, so that my human eyes may see what my human faith already knows.  Raise your human Son to the place where your only-begotten Son has always been.

(6) Out of the whole world you especially gave me these few disciples, and I have made known to them the power of your name. They believe the truth – that they belong to us.  (7) They know that everything I’ve given them is from you. (8) I have delivered your message to them, and they have received it.  They know the truth – that I came from you, and that you sent me.

(9) What I am requesting now, I am requesting for THEM – all the people who know me but are surrounded by others who don’t.  (10) They belong to us, and in their bodies our Light shines.  (11) I am changing my mode of presence in the world, but they are not.  Protect them, Papa.  With the power of your name, keep them safe from evil’s power to hurt their relationships with each other.  I want them to be whole, like you and me – 100% attached and 100% differentiated.  Full boundaried intimacy.

(12) I myself have been protecting our community from falling apart.  The scriptures prophesied the loss of one from our group, but he is the only one we have lost. (13) Now as my mode of presence transitions, I say these things so that they will not miss out on a single drop of my joy. (14) They now know what I know.  They know that we belong to you, not to the System.  And the System hates us because it can’t own us. (15) I don’t ask that you take them out of the System, because the people in the System need them.  What I do ask is that you protect their relationships from the Faceless Man and his schemes to break them up.

(16) They have been freed from the System and its terrible necessities. (17) May their knowledge of this truth transform them and set them apart as your own freedom fighters in the world. (18) I launch them into the System like you launched me – with a job to do. (19) For their sakes I have set myself apart for this task, so that they can join me.

(20) I ask all this not only for these Twelve, but also for everyone who will believe in me through their testimony.  (21) I ask that they may be whole and fully bound together in our love.  Just like how you are in me and I am in you, I ask that they also live their life together in us, so that the world will experience and believe the gospel. (22) I have brought them into the beauty and harmony of our shared life, so that they may participate in our oneness, (23) I in them and you in me, so that they may share our full boundaried intimacy.  In this way the world will see that I am from you, and that when you shower your love upon me, every drop of it lands on them.

(24) Papa, I want them to be with me where I am – both in the world and at your right hand.  I want them to know me for who I really am.  I want them to experience the beauty of my relationship with you, the life we have shared from before time.

(25) Lovely Papa, the world doesn’t know you, but I do.  My friends here know that you sent me. (26) I have revealed you to the world, and I will continue to do so until that job is done.  I will keep at it until the world is full of people who are full of me and the love you have given to me.

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  • Richard Jenkin

    Jesus’ prayer I have found difficult in the past but your interpretation is really helpful and I will use this at the Lent group next week
    It probably helped that I found that The Shack was inspiring
    Richard

  • Hi Richard, I’m glad to hear my stuff has been useful to you! In this passage, I struggled with Jesus’ emphasis that he was praying only for his disciples and not for the whole world; It tripped my “Oh no! Calvinism!” panic alarm. 🙂 But when I did the mental work of repentance — letting go of my old lens (“God loves some people and hates some others”) and replacing it with my new lens (“Some people are blessed in particular ways so they can participate in God’s blessing of others”) — I began to see something new and wonderful in this text. Further up and further in! – John