It was the night of Jesus’ betrayal by His inner circle. It was the night Jesus demonstrated foot washing. All of His followers are to be servants.
It was the night that Jesus gave a new commandment.
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
What an incredible evening. It was on that evening when Jesus promised He would send the Holy Spirit. It was that evening, before His crucifixion, when Christ reminds the disciples they must stay connected to Him—the vine—if they are to bear fruit.
After praying for Himself, and for his disciples, Jesus prays for all future believers—including me.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
I must confess I don’t understand Jesus’ prayer.
I think I understand the words. What I don’t understand is that the divided church I see today does not seem to fulfill Jesus’ prayer.
At the same time, God does not work against himself.
I wonder, is it possible Jesus is speaking of a time that hasn’t yet arrived? Is the complete unity of which Jesus speaks dealing with His second coming? Is He speaking of heaven when all will be united in God and Jesus? Perhaps it is only then the world will recognize the love that comes from God’s oneness with Jesus and our oneness with the Godhead.
I do believe the more we show a loving, united church, the more powerful Jesus will be to those who have yet to find him.
One last thought. Although there is the corporate aspect of church, my responsibility to God is personal. The church may reflect division, but I have within my power to offer grace to my brothers and sisters at every encounter.
I have within my power to be a fountain of unity without compromising truth and my relationship to Jesus. I can at least make every effort to live in the spirit of honoring Jesus’ prayer.
Stay tuned. Gary J. Sorrells – On Cross Church