John 17:23 KJV
I¹ in² them³, and⁴ thou⁵ in² me⁶,
that⁷ they may be⁸ made perfect⁹ in one¹⁰,
and that⁷ the world¹¹ may know¹²
that¹³ thou⁵ hast sent¹⁴ me¹⁵,
and⁴ hast loved¹⁶ them¹⁷,
as¹⁸ thou hast loved¹⁶ me¹⁹.
¹) I – ἐγὼ (egō) – Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Nominative 1st Person Singular – I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
²) In – ἐν (en) – In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; ‘in, ‘ at, on, by, etc.
³) Them – αὐτοῖς (autois) – Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural – He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
⁴) And – καὶ (kai) – And, even, also, namely.
⁵) You – σὺ (sy) – Nominative 2nd Person Singular – You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.
⁶) Me – ἐμοί (emoi) – Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Dative 1st Person Singular – I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
⁷) That – ἵνα (hina) – In order that, so that. Probably from the same as the former part of heautou; in order that.
⁸) They may be – ὦσιν (ōsin) – Verb – Present Subjunctive Active – 3rd Person Plural – I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
⁹) Perfectly – τετελειωμένοι (teteleiōmenoi) – Verb – Perfect Participle Middle or Passive – Nominative Masculine Plural – From teleios; to complete, i.e. accomplish, or consummate.
¹⁰) United – ἕν (hen) – One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.
¹¹) World – κόσμος (kosmos) – Probably from the base of komizo; orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, the world (morally).
¹²) May know – γινώσκῃ (ginōskē) – A prolonged form of a primary verb; to ‘know’ in a great variety of applications and with many implications.
¹³) That – ὅτι (hoti) – Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.
¹⁴) Sent – ἀπέστειλας (apesteilas) – Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 2nd Person Singular – From apo and stello; set apart, i.e. to send out literally or figuratively.
¹⁵) Me – με (me) – Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Accusative 1st Person Singular – I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
¹⁶) Have loved – ἠγάπησας (ēgapēsas) – Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 2nd Person Singular – To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.
¹⁷) Them – αὐτοὺς (autous) – Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Plural – He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
¹⁸) Just as – καθὼς (kathōs) – According to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as. From kata and hos; just as, that.
¹⁹) Me – ἐμὲ (eme) – Personal / Possessive Pronoun – Accusative 1st Person Singular – I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
Berean Literal Bible
I in them, and You in Me–that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.
New King James Version
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.
New American Standard Bible
I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and You loved them, just as You loved Me.
I in them, and thou in me.
These words are best regarded as a parenthesis more explicitly setting forth the thought of the union of the Father, the Son, and the believer.
The thought is continued from the last verse, “That they may be one even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one.”
It is the thought which the words of Christ have uttered again and again, and which we yet feel that no words can utter.
The disciples heard the words immediately after they had heard the allegory of the true vine (John 15); and the fullest meaning of separate words and phrases in these chapters is best arrived at by remembering that they were not uttered as separate words and phrases, but that they were spoken as a whole, and should be read as a whole; and that the most unfathomable of them were spoken in prayer from the Son to the Father.
That they may be made perfect in one.
Better is: “unto one”. The unity is the result of their being made perfect. (See. Hebrews 10:14; 1John 2:5; 4:12, 17-18.)
And that the world may know that thou hast sent me.
Better is: “did send Me” (Compare John 17:21).
“That the world may know” (recognise)
Here is parallel to “that the world may believe,” in the earlier verse.
We are to regard it, therefore, as another instance of the repeated expression of the fulness of thought; and this is borne out by the parallel in John 13:35; 14:31.
The thought which has been introduced here of the conviction of the unbelieving world, seems to be opposed to the context.
The prayer is that the world, seeing in its midst the power which binds men together in unity, may believe and know that this is of God, who sent Christ into the world, and may accept for themselves the message of love which the “Sent of God” has brought unto them. (Compare John 3:16.)
You may sometimes have seen a wife, married in true love and heart, surrender to a man who is good and strong.
At first his goodness and strength are merely the object of her reverence, but gradually they seem to pass into her.
New elements of character are developed in her, a firmness, a decisiveness, a breadth of view, a depth of sympathy which were wanting before.
- You would not say that her individuality had been lost; on the contrary, it seems informed, inspired, filled out and completed.
- You would not say that she was a reflection of him; no, you would rather say that she lives in him, or from another point of view, that he lives in her.
Her relation to him is not imitative but receptive.
He passes into her.
If he is removed by death, it is observed not so much that she has lost something, as that part of her, the best and greater part, has gone; she is no longer what she was; she reminds you of a home that once had a tenant, but now though furniture and decorations remain the same, the tenant is there no more.
In such an illustration we may get some idea of this august doctrine.
It is something more than that hopeless task of copying the human life of Jesus, it is the actual communication of His Divine life, as the Lord Himself puts it “I in them.” He — shall we say? — the beautiful and perfect spouse enters the soul, not ideally, but really; and entering in He moulds the ugly and repulsive outlines of our being into conformity with His own.
On a bright but chilly day in early spring you see your friend walking on the shady side of the street, as some foolish people will do.
You call over to him: “Come and walk in the sun with me.”
The sun is many millions of miles away, yet you speak of being in it, and walking in it, when you are bathed in the light and warmth continually proceeding from it.
In the same way are we in Christ when we are surrounded by the gracious loving presence of His Holy Spirit.
So, “Ye in Me.” But not only must the light be around us, but in us, before we can be said to live in it and walk in it.
A blind man is surrounded by the sunlight as any one else is, but he does not live in it; he does not walk in it; he cannot enjoy it.
Simply because it is not in him.
We must have eyes; and these eyes must be opened to receive the light into the body, so that we may live in it, and walk in it, and enjoy it.
And in the same way must the eye of faith be opened to receive the heavenly light into the soul before we can even be aware of its presence; and it must be kept open in order that we may “walk in the light as He is in the light.” Christ must be in us by His Holy Spirit in order that we may live in Him
How will the world come to know that God sent his Son?
Through our unity!
How will the world know that God truly loves us as his children?
When we live together in unity!
What is that unity?
That’s harder to define. The basis of unity is a life of character so consistent with the will of God that He can be seen living in us!
Yet for this kind of unity to be seen by the world, it has to be visible in the way we work with each other in the cause of the Gospel, the way we handle our differences, the way as a group that we consistently treat people of the world, and the way we come together in areas that clearly matter to God.
May it only be so!
- Ask God to help you to come together with others,
- In ways that honor Him,
- In ways that reveal His character,
- In ways that lead others to call on Jesus as Lord.
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