In John 17:11, there is the 1st of 3 requests in the remainder of John 17 that demonstrates Jesus’ desire for the unity of his followers. In addition to that repetition, it’s also instructive that the first time Jesus asks the Father to keep his people, it’s for the purpose of unity. It makes perfect sense in the context, for if the Father and Son share in the unity of the same name and Jesus has manifested that name to the disciples, as they are kept in that name, they will be one just as the Father and the Son are one in that name. This is somewhat similar to the Apostle Paul’s time stamp giving to the purpose of church equipping the saints in Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God… There are a couple great obstacles to this unity in God’s name:
1) Confusing unity with ecumenism. Sacrificing truth to obtain a larger group due to thinking that will give Christianity greater influence in the world has always been a satanic trap. If Christ manifested God’s name through his teachings, at what point is the established unity no longer in God’s name and is instead in man’s name because it is simply external associations with no spiritual component whatsoever?
2) Walking in self-centeredness. This always leads to disunity, which can destroy relationships with one another, harm fellowship with God and greatly hinder influence in the world. In contrast, Jesus has already declared to them that their influence will be directly linked to their love for one another, which requires a personal sacrifice for the good of another.
So when God’s name is feared and becomes the highest object of promotion, there is a great protection among Christ’s people. But, if on the other hand, followers of Christ start being more concerned about their own name, that’s when unity erodes away.