Despite the 1968 Three Dog Night hit, “One” is NOT the Loneliest Number (Part One)

At least from Jesus’ perspective, “one” is not a lonely number. “One” is a secure, eternal habitation at home, at rest with Him and the Father. Undeniably the greatest need for any human is the need for love. There is no debate. Why is this? Because God created us with a need for love. Even more so, God instilled in every human a need for His love. Selfish you say? Insecure God? Not so! God’s desire from before the foundation of the world was to enfold us into His family, to adopt us. And His motivation  . . .“In love He predestined us[ for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved..”  (Eph. 1:5-6)  

Just what kind of “god” would stoop to be mindful of a race so enticed by and encumbered by sin, so far from the state of holiness and purity one would expect of a God worth seeking or worshiping? Why bother, God? Even King David asks that in Psalm 8:4 saying “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” It isn’t about the quality of man. It is about the essence and radiant beauty of God. “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5) That’s the God Jesus prays to for us in John 17, and this too is the character of Jesus. He is the perfect incarnation, visible image of the Father.

This prayer is central to Jesus’ last will and testament. Jesus has so much to say here. Perhaps you will take time to read John 17 to establish a background for His words. Talking to His Father, Jesus is petitioning not just for us but for those who are yet to find saving faith through us! Isn’t that fantastic? And Jesus is asking for the same quality of unity for us to enjoy, an identical “oneness” among the body of Christ, the church, as He experiences in the Trinity with the Father and Holy Spirit. Equally important with that, He is yearning for that same “oneness” to characterize and reflect our relationship with Him and the Father. This is likely the starting point, isn’t it? That’s quite an “ask.” Could God accomplish that in His church having you and I as His building blocks? Think About It. Next week we’ll tackle Jesus’ motivation for such a bold prayer.