Jesus' Idea of Community

In John chapter 17, we read some words Jesus prayed to God, His Father, on our behalf. This is what he wants for us:

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in their world, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they may also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
— John 17:15-21 (ESV)

Jesus made clear his desire for us:

  1. Be in the mix with people that don't trust Jesus, developing friendships with neighbors, co-workers and others with very different beliefs than ours.
  2. Be able to resist Satan, the evil one and his many temptations to join his rebellion against God.
  3. Be set aside for God's kingdom purposes (sanctified) by renewing our minds with God's word, the Bible. And able to discern between the gospel truth and all the conflicting messages we hear every day.
  4. Making disciples who make disciples and living like an extended family that is so unified by Christ that people are drawn  toward trusting him.

In this prayer of Jesus, we see His desire for us to know and live in response to the gospel, practice unified and inclusive community and engage in the mission of God to restore people to Himself.

To explore more passages that highlight the importance of integrating gospel, community and mission into every aspect of our lives check out Matthew 20:28, Matthew 11:19, Luke 19:10, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4,  Hebrews 10:24, John 13:34-35, Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5: 17-20, Matthew 9:9-13.