By Not Known
We sometimes have a problem of balance between the unity of the group and the
diversity of its parts. For example, to what extent do a married couple think and act
as one unit and to what extent are husband and wife distinct from one another? The
same issues arise between parents and children, as well as in other close
Today’s Bible passage (Jn 17:20-26) helps us to think about these issues. Jesus prays
that his followers will be ‘one’. He gives the example of his relationship with the
Father to illustrate this oneness
So, let’s ask how the Father and the Son relate and what that teaches us about being
Being one is not the same as one being. The Father and the Son are distinct, such
that the Son can pray to the Father and refer to the Father as having sent him into
the world and having loved him. In short, the Father and the Son have distinct
identities and roles in their relationship. Father and Son are two.
But neither are the Father and Son fragmented. To know the Son is to know the
Father. To share in the Son is to share in the Father. Likewise, the Son’s passion is to
glorify the Father, but this happens as the Father glorifies the Son. Father and Son
And so we have a paradox, The Father and the Son are one, yet they are two. The
same can be said when we introduce the Holy Spirit, to make the God who is both
one and three. From the world’s view, the paradox must be broken and we must
choose between worshipping three gods, or, denying the distinctions between Father
Son and Spirit.
But, the truth about God lies in the paradox. He is both one and three. The denial of
either the oneness or the threeness brings problems. The affirmation of both
preserves the balance of the Bible.
It is the same in our marriages, families and other close relationships. Too much
emphasis on the ‘one’ stifles the individuality of the parts and can lead to
dysfunctional relations or explosive rebellions. Too much emphasis on the parts can
mean that the relationship disintegrates.
So, let us follow God’s nature in all our relationships, cultivating both the ‘one’ of
the group and the distinctness of the parts.