John 17:21 says, "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, "
There are two fundamental
needs in the life of every person. One is the need to be an
individual to learn to stand on one's feet. We can never be a
responsible member of a community until we are first of all an
We Need to be a Member of a Family
We also need to learn to be
a member of a family or a community. This is very important, for
each one of us belong to a very close family; that is the family of
Jesus Himself was very much
an individual yet He was a member of a family also. And that is the
kind of relationship He must have had with the disciples.
The burden of Jesusí prayer
following the Last Supper was "that they all may be one." That is
why He had come. He sought to bring men together- into a brotherhood
they had never known before, into a close family relationship that
men had never dreamed possible .
However we realize that the Kingdom of God is not made up of
individuals but rather a congregation of people who are bound to God
by the closest tie, and who are just as closely bound to Christ.
Just as an individual
does not lose his individuality in the family so it is with
those who become one with God and Christ.
A Desire to Be Loved
Jesus recognized that in the
lives of men and women there is a hunger and deep desire to love and
to be loved; to feel oneself to be a part of other people.
A well known doctor made a
study of a 1000 people who had committed suicide or attempted
suicide. One thing stood out, that those who did not have strong
ties to other people, who did not have a close family relationship
were most likely to commit suicide.
A Desire for Friendship or Fellowship
One of the deep hungers in
every human being is for fellowship or friendship.
occasion we visited Port Arthur in Tasmania. We were told of the
floggings the convicts were given
but far worse was the solitary confinement. For
in the pitch darkness the man had to stand alone. Few of us would be
able to stand that for very long.
Oneness as a Family
We have a deep desire in our
souls to live together happily but false pride, stubbornness,
resentment, an unforgiving spirit, often builds up a barrier that
separates us from not only our own family but from our heavenly
And that is why Jesus prayed
that very special prayer, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."