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.
and that [purpose] the world may know that You have sent Me,
Oneness among believers is a way the world knows about what Jesus came to do. Their unity functions as a witness to the world. The revealed Christ is central to this passage—“You have sent Me.” The world does not know that God loves them. They need to be told about it.
and have loved them as [just as] You have loved Me.
It is not enough that the world knows that the Father sent the Son, but it needs to understand that He loves them. We cannot separate the sending of the Son from the Father’s love. The Father loves others just like He loves Jesus.
Oneness among those who love Jesus shows the world that God loves them. Love is something that the world can observe. The world can recognize the reality of the Father’s love by the love of unity among believers. People are drawn into the circle of the relationship of God with His people.
The word “as” means to the same degree. The Father loves believers to the same degree that He loves Jesus. Oneness comes from a common life characterized by love. Believers are to embody God’s love so that the world can see true love. There is no true love apart from Him.
Biblical unity is not self-generated nor is it an end in itself. It is something that comes from relationship with God. The world can see the genuineness of that kind of affiliation.
God’s love for the believer is at the same measure as His love for Jesus. The Father’s love is infinite and eternal—it is undying (Jer 31:3). Nothing can separate us from the love of God or His love for us (Ro 8:38-39).
The Father and Son are one yet distinct; believers are to be one yet distinct. There is both independence and dependence in the concept of unity. The Spirit of God indwells each believer, which gives them a mutuality. We all depend on God together.
Jesus did not pray for church unity but spiritual unity. It is important to manifest this unity. The kind of unity can only come from advancing one’s knowledge and experience with the Lord Jesus.