If you’ve spent much time reading or studying the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, you’ve probably noticed that, more often than not, He calls His followers to a radical way of living. It’s not just “be a nice person and don’t do bad things.” He asks us to lead lives of sacrifice, love, humility, forgiveness, and peace. Easy words to say, but not so easy to actually live out. And usually contrary to what the world and even our own flesh are telling us to do.
One of the radical things Jesus wants of His followers is found in these words that Jesus prayed when He was in the upper room with His disciples shortly before His death on the cross:
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word…
that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.
Jesus wants all of His followers to be perfectly one. Perfectly one! Jesus wants us to be united together as one. Living life together in love and unity. One people, following in His footsteps, as we tell the lost world what God has done for all of us through Jesus. And did you catch this? It will be our love and unity that will show the world the truth of the message!
…so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.
Jesus wants the love and unity of His followers – His Church – to shine so brightly in this fallen world that others will come to know Him and follow Him.
Unfortunately, when the world looks at the church today, it usually doesn’t see love and unity. Even believers often see and experience more things that divide us than bring us together. And that should break our hearts.
May Jesus’ prayer for us to be perfectly one also be our prayer. May all those who are truly His followers – who are committed to living a radically different life as we follow in His footsteps – live life together in unity:
- Putting others before ourselves
- Living at peace with each other
- Forgiving those who hurt us
- Maintaining unity in essentials, but celebrating diversity in the rest
And may our love and unity be seen by the lost people around us so they will come to know the truth of who God is and what He has done for us all through Jesus, and become His followers too.
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