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23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.


23 I in them, and You in Me;

It was through Jesus that His followers had unity with the Father (Jn 17:21). He was the mediating link between His disciples and the Father.

that [purpose] they may be made perfect in one,

This verse gives two purposes for unity among the followers of Christ: (1) that believers would be mature in unity and (2) that the world would be exposed to Christ’s mission.

Jesus prayed here for a mature or complete oneness—”made perfect in one.” “Perfect in one” has to do with being brought into rich unity that comes from God; they were brought completely to oneness. The Greek tense indicates that “perfect in one” was a state that they needed to attain, a stage of maturity. They needed to reach a more mature unity.

This oneness does not come from believers themselves but from their interrelationship with members of the Trinity.


Christian unity is to grow into maturity.


Jesus has already achieved a oneness for us, yet it is also something that needs to develop. We need to grow into unity. Our unity is real but not perfect. God requires us to adjust our attitude toward others; we need to love others more. There is a need to grow in grace and into maturity (2 Pe 3:18).