The Upper Room Discourse 83

The Upper Room Discourse 83 Rabbi Michael Weiner

John 17:21 that they all may be one. Just as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You, so also may they be one in Us, so the world may believe that You sent Me.

I want us to focus today on this one phrase, “that they all may be one.” Echad is the Hebrew number “one.” Yachad” is “unity”. In the TLV (Tree of Life Version) the word “one” appears 8 times in John chapter 17. Five of those times, in this chapter, as Yeshua prays, it is in connection with the people of God either being one with each other or one with God.

Yeshua is mere hours from the cross and He knows it. What is on His mind and in His prayers above everything else? “Unity through holiness.” Yeshua has come! How will the world know? If we, His followers, act like Him on earth. Hebrews 5:9 And once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. To obey Him is to be like Him.

We are His ambassadors. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 We are therefore ambassadors for Messiah, as though God were making His appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Messiah, be reconciled to God. He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. An ambassador represents the sovereign on foreign land. Notice in John 17:18, that Yeshua clearly states that we are sent into the world.

I want to “massage” this concept of unity a little further. Some have a false idea of what “unity” means, that can easily lead to “replacement theology”. Being one with Messiah does not mean becoming a homogenous soup of humanity. God created diversity. God loves the “flavors” of various people groups. According to Scripture there will be variety at the end of time. Revelation 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a vast multitude that no one could count – from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues – was standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. Yeshua values what is valuable in every culture.

Even in Jewish culture, there is valuable and unvaluable. In much of Jewish culture there is an anti-Messiah spirit that is unvaluable. Other cultures eat their dead so as to preserve their spirits. Secular humanism says that everything is right if it is right in that culture. God gives us His righteous standard, so we will know right from wrong. He sent His Son as our example of righteousness.

Everyone isn’t Jewish, nor should everyone want to be. And, if you’ve read Acts 15 lately you know it is not expected or required to be Jewish to obey God and be a part of what God is doing in the world today. Messianic Judaism exists today to answer the reverse question, “Do you have to be gentile (turn Jews into Gentiles) to obey God and be a part of what God is doing in the world today?”

My prayer is to see more of the non-Jewish church accept my answer to that question, “Certainly not!” In fact, Jewish culture is perfectly suited to New Testament faith as its source is Scripture. The Jewish calendar (including the feast days) and life cycle events are right out of the Bible. How peculiar that Yeshua’s own people stand as the people who reject Him the most.

May we answer Yeshua’s prayer today. We are positively one in Messiah. I have to end this with a significant quote from Ephesians 4.

Ephesians 4:1-6 Therefore I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you were called – with complete humility and gentleness, with patience, putting up with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Ruach in the bond of shalom. There is one body and one Ruach, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one immersion; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

May the Lord hasten the day when Yeshua’s prayer for unity will be answered completely, “that they all may be one.”