That the world may know - That the Jewish people first, and secondly the Gentiles, may acknowledge me as the true Messiah, and be saved unto life eternal.
May be made perfect in one - That their union may be complete. That there may be no jars, discords, or contentions. A machine is perfect or complete when it has all its parts and is in good order when there is no portion of it wanting. So the union of Christians, for which the Saviour prayed, would be complete or perfect if there were no controversies, no envyings, no contentions, and no heart-burnings and jealousies. It is worthy of remark here how entirely the union of his people occupied the mind of Jesus as he drew near to death. He saw the danger of strifes and contentions in the church. He knew the imperfections of even the best of men. He saw how prone they would be to passion and ambition; how ready to mistake love of sect or party for zeal for pure religion; how selfish and worldly men in the church might divide his followers, and produce unholy feeling and contention; and he saw, also, how much this would do to dishonor religion.
Hence, he took occasion, when he was about to die, to impress the importance of union on his disciples. By solemn admonition, and by most tender and affecting appeals to God in supplication, he showed his sense of the value of this union. He used the most sublime and impressive illustration; he adverted to the eternal union between the Father and himself; he reminded them of his love, and of the effect that their union would have on the world, to fix it more deeply in their hearts. The effect has shown the infinite wisdom of the Saviour. The contentions and strifes of Christians have shown his knowledge in foreseeing it. The effect of all this on religion has shown that he understood the value of union. Christians have contended long enough. It is time that they should hear the parting admonitions of their Redeemer, and go unitedly against their common foe. The world still lies in wickedness; and the friends of Jesus, bound by the cords of eternal love, should advance together against the common enemy, and spread the triumphs of the gospel around the globe. All that is needful now, under the blessing of God, to convince the world” that God sent the Lord Jesus, is that very union among all Christians for which he prayed;” and when that union of feeling, and purpose, and action shall take place, the task of sending the gospel to all nations will be soon accomplished, and the morning of the millennial glory will dawn upon the world.
As the meeting was about to close, the stranger arose and with a voice that was full of sorrow and of tears, he told them that they had a great want in their own souls, and in their own experience, of the love of Jesus, which was present in large measure in every heart where Christ took up His abode. Every heart renewed by the Spirit of God would not only love God but love his brother, and if that brother made mistakes, if he erred, he must be dealt with after the gospel plan. Every step must be followed according to the directions given in the Word of God. “‘Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted’” (Galatians 6:1), he said. “Rememberest thou not the prayer of Christ just before He left His disciples for His long, agonizing struggle in the garden of Gethsemane, before His betrayal, His trial, and His crucifixion?” (See John 17:15-23).... TDG 157.3Read in context »
“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.” The word of God should be made the great educating power. How shall students know the truth, except by a close, earnest, persevering study of the word? Here is the grand stimulus, the hidden force which quickens the mental and physical powers, and directs the life into right channels. Here in the word is wisdom, poetry, history, biography, and the most profound philosophy. Here is a study that quickens the mind into a vigorous and healthy life, and awakens it to the highest exercise. It is impossible to study the Bible with a humble, teachable spirit, without developing and strengthening the intellect. Those who become best acquainted with the wisdom and purpose of God as revealed in His word, become men and women of mental strength; and they may become efficient workers with the great Educator, Jesus Christ. FE 432.1
“As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” There is a work to be done for the world, and Christ sends His messengers, who are to be workers together with Himself. Christ has given His people the words of truth, and all are called to act a part in making them known to the world. FE 432.2
“And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” Teachers may suppose that they can teach in their own wisdom, retaining their human imperfections; but Christ, the divine Teacher, whose work is to restore to man that which was lost through the fall, sanctified Himself for His work. He offered Himself unto God as a sacrifice for sin, giving His life for the life of the world. He would have those for whom He paid such a ransom, sanctified “through the truth,” and He has set them an example. The Teacher is what He would have His disciples become. There is no sanctification aside from the truth,—the word. Then how essential that it should be understood by every one! FE 432.3Read in context »
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (Verses 18-23). UL 31.4Read in context »
I pray that now as never before both ministers and church members may come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty powers of darkness. Study prayerfully the seventeenth chapter of John. This chapter is not only to be read again and again; its truths are to be eaten and assimilated. “For their sakes,” Christ prayed: “I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as We are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” John 17:19-23. 8T 80.1
Are these words, of such wonderful import to us, to be always neglected? God calls upon those who profess to be His children to study these words, to eat them, to live them. He calls upon them to seek for unity and love, else the candlestick will be moved out of its place. 8T 80.2Read in context »