Last week during a time of prayer with another staff, we were praying through John 17:18-23, where Jesus prays for all Believers. The part that stood out to me the most as we read and re-read it was verse 22. Jesus says, “I have given them the glory that You have given me, that they may be one as You and I are one: I am in them and You in me.”
As I prayed through that verse, it seems that Jesus was saying that somehow giving us glory was connected to our unity with one another, but why? Then God began to speak to me about my own heart and about certain relationships where I have been unwilling or unable to forgive those who have hurt me. He showed me that most of those wounds were a result of my feeling rejected or unimportant, or in other words, those people had not given me the “glory” I thought I was due. The result of this was that there was disunity between us because my heart was hard and guarded around them.
If I lived my life as one who had already been given glory, then perhaps the opinions and acceptance of others wouldn’t hold such a place of power. Perhaps I would love simply to love and not to gain something in return. If I lived my life as one surrounded by Brothers and Sisters who had already been given glory, perhaps I would treat them with more honor and love. Imagine, living as glorious ones could bring the thing that Jesus was asking for, unity and one-ness.
And why was Jesus asking for unity among Believers? “So that the world may believe that You sent
Jesus, who had all glory, gave it away. He didn’t need to hold onto it, because He knew who He was and Whose He was. I’m not sure yet what it means that I have been given glory. I certainly don’t often feel glorious. But I think that there is freedom here, freedom from seeking my own life and glory from others or from my own abilities, and as that freedom flows, so will forgiveness, unity, and the power of Christ in our world.