‘United we stand (and are) in Christ’ (John 17:20-26)

John 17:20-26 highlights the fact that after praying for the security and the sanctification of His disciples, Jesus also prayed for their unity. In a passage variously interpreted by many to promote the ecumenical movement, Jesus’ words are best understood to refer to the unity (as distinct from uniformity) of all His disciples. This unity is a natural unity not a forced one, that has its basis in the fact that all true believers come to the one Father through the one Saviour.