John 17:20-23 (NIVUK)
20 ‘My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 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. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – 23 I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
I have been a Christian for 33 years now. I love that even after this time, the Bible keeps on revealing new riches to me that I hadn’t noticed before. This passage is an example. I have always loved it for its description of Jesus praying that we may be united such as he and his Father are united, and that this unity may point others towards him. What I hadn’t really noticed before is the last phrase, Jesus’ statement that God loves us as he loves his Son. Yes, you read that right, God loves us as he loves his Son.
Father, we all long to love and be loved. Thank you that in finding you, we’ve found someone who truly loves us because of who we are and despite of who we are. Help us to know and comprehend your love more fully and to learn to love you more deeply in response.