Unity: Proclaiming Christ Through Unity
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” -John 17:20-23
First of all, you really need to read all of John 17. In this chapter, Jesus prays for his disciples and for all future believers. Super powerful stuff here. I want to draw our attention, though, to the above verses. Jesus prays to God that all of the future believers will be one with each other as Jesus is one with God the Father. WHAT?!
Now, when Jesus prays for something, you know it’s going to be answered, right? So somehow, some way, some time we are going to be unified with each other like Jesus and God the Father are unified. Jesus and God the Father are separate persons yet the same being. They are intimately connected and intertwined and are both the same and distinct at the same time. This is something too deep to explain in human language, and it is going to happen with us. Think about it, all of the arguing between denominations, all the fights over what worship style is best, all the disagreement about what bible translation is the best. Can we really be unified. Yes.
But then Jesus says something just as crazy. He says that the world will know that he is sent by God the Father because of the unity of the Church. So the world will believe in Jesus when they see how unified the Church is. Mind. Blown.
It’s not going to be through fancy worship productions, the right music style, the proper church doctrine, or even being nice and polite. It’s not going to be by how many mission trips we go on or how many people attend our church. It’s going to be BY THE UNITY OF THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH. Pray for this, guys, because it’s going to happen. Put aside petty differences about denomination or style. The body of Christ is more than Catholic or Protestant. It’s more than organ or guitar. It’s more than Black or White. It’s more than Chris Tomlin or Charles Wesley. It’s more than that. Let’s put aside our differences and be unified under Jesus Christ. Then the world will know that Jesus is who he says he is!