Seventh Sunday of Easter 12.5.13 John 17.20-end

1 05 2013

Sharing Unity

The words of Jesus invite us to explore the depths of unity and to become reconciling people.

John 17.20-end

Jesus said,  ‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, 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. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

25 ‘Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. Who are ‘these’ in verse 1?
  2. How do you explain the idea of ‘unity’ expressed here in plain English?
  3. To what extent does the word ‘unity’ do justice to the mutual indwelling described here?

Heart Questions

  1. Do you find the idea of unity liberating or constricting?
  2. In verse 24 Jesus expresses his desire in prayer. Do you?
  3. What does it feel like to be at one with others?

Hand Questions

  1. To whom can you take the word of the Gospel?
  2. What practical action of yours might facilitate Christian unity?
  3. What are the qualities of a reconciling person?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you.  That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands.  Take your time.



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