In this week’s Bible Study, we will reflect on the identity of Yahweh as a complex being—one God and at the same time Father, Son, and Spirit. The theological term for this concept is called the Trinity. God is united within himself as a community of eternal love. Love is not just one of his attributes; love is who he is. Because of this, when the Father, Son, and Spirit created humanity, it was an expression and an invitation to eternal love. Humanity rejected this invitation at first, but God went to every length to make a way for us to participate in his community of love.
What’s one thing you were most surprised by in this video?
God’s very essence is love. He has eternally existed within a community, or triunity, of love. Jesus’ prayer, recorded in John’s Gospel, gives us a glimpse into the love and unity Jesus has always shared with his Father. It also shows us how committed he is to helping us participate in this divine community of love and oneness.
What questions or thoughts surface for you as you reflect on the passage?
Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one just as he’s one with God the Father (see vs. 21). How do you practice oneness in your relationships right now? Where is more practice needed? Take some time to echo Jesus’ prayer for oneness.
Consider vs 23. What happens when followers of Jesus live in oneness with God and with one another? What if onlookers can’t find a unified expression of love on earth? How might this affect how they view God?
Describe the way the Father loves Jesus. Reflect on the reality that God the Father loves his disciples “even as” the Father loves Jesus (see vs. 23). What comes to mind as you reflect on this?
Paul urges his listeners to live a life that matches God’s call to unity. He understands that without humility, gentleness, patience, and forbearing love, unity cannot exist. So he calls people to make every effort to keep the habits of unity that exist in the Spirit of God. God is one, and we too are called to be one.
Notice the repeated words in this passage. What do you think Paul was trying to communicate by repeating these words?
Where have you noticed expressions of humility, gentleness, patience, or love most recently?
Think about a time when you were experiencing brokenness in a relationship. If you could travel back to that time, with this passage in mind, what would you do differently? What can you do today to build or rebuild a bond of peace?