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. – John 17:20-21
Is it possible that as Jesus was talking to the Father about those who would believe in him that he saw the future? Do you think that may have been the motivation for his prayer, “That all of them may be one?” If in fact he was looking into the future he saw a daunting task before him.
He had already seen his followers jockeying for position in the kingdom while he was ministering with them. He tried to teach them that the way of the kingdom was to serve one another rather than to rule over one another.
Somehow I don’t think the fragmented body of Christ we see today is what Jesus had in mind when he went to the cross. He may have had that in mind when he prophesied that brother would turn against brother.
It is significant that one of the burdens he was carrying to the cross was the knowledge that those who would claim faith in him would be as fragmented as we are today.
Here is a challenge I am throwing out today: Help the father bring unity to the body of Christ by consciously reaching out to a believer outside of the group you normally fellowship. You have neighbors, friends or co-workers who are believers but they are affiliated with a different group than you; invite them into your circle of fellowship and inquire about their circle of fellowship.
It is said that the most segregated hour of the week is at church on Sunday Morning. That is not just true about race but the church is segregated, or divided, by doctrine, denomination, and socio-economic status. The only way the body of Christ will be united is for you and I to take the initiative and reach across those lines of segregation and invite our brothers and sisters into our hearts. Pray about it.
Prayer: Lord, help me to seek unity in your body. Amen.
Principle: The only way the body of Christ will be united is for you and I to take the initiative and reach across those lines which divide us and invite our brothers and sisters into our hearts.
Affirmation:When I look at another follower of Christ I don’t see denomination, ethnicity, doctrine, or socio-economic differences. I simply see another brother or sister in Christ.
Reflection: What did Jesus have in mind when he prayed that his followers would be one? Was he talking about the way the church is today or did he have something else in mind? In what ways is the body of Christ not as one today?
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