“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You…” (John 17:20-21)
As Jesus looked, in turn, at each beloved face gathered around the Passover table that last evening, He knew what lay ahead – for Him and for them. After the meal, the King of kings and Lord of lords laid aside His garments, picked up a towel, and knelt before each one to wash their feet…even the one who would betray him in just a few short hours. After He sent Judas into the night, He opened His heart to share those final, important truths that the disciples would need to carry them through the next terrifying hours. He concluded those precious moments by praying His heart over them, reaching out to the Father on their behalf, on our behalf.
He could have prayed many things. He alone knew the horror, the mind-numbing grief, the overwhelming disillusionment that would follow His benediction. He understood the transformation that needed to occur so that this ragamuffin band of rough men could turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). Only He could foresee the faith explosion that would shake the very foundations of the formidable Roman empire. He could have asked for and imparted many things, but He asked for one thing over and over: that we all may be one.
Five times He prayed that we might be one. Just like He and the Father are one, He asked that we would be united, that we would stand together in the Word that He gave, that we would radiate the glory that He shared. And somehow, this unity between us, this unbreakable bond will testify to the fact that God sent Jesus to this world and that He has loved us with an unsurpassed love. God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son so we could believe in Him, so we could be united with Him in love and share in this great big, messy, wonderful family. We will never be on the outside, never be without a friend or advocate or helper again. We stand as one. This is our forever family.
Today, are you the answer to the petition that Jesus prayed on that night long ago? Are you unified with the body of Christ? Are you making every effort to live in harmony with your brothers and sisters? Are you humbly kneeling to wash their feet? Are you surrendering your will to stand united in heart, mind, purpose and action? A world is waiting to be turned upside down again.
Our matchless Savior, thank You for the tender way You care for us, how You know exactly what we need. In the places where I have been divided from my brothers and sisters, separated by anger or bitterness, please forgive me. Show me how to dwell in unity with others so that we may radiate Your glory. In the name of our Prince of Peace…Amen.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Psalms & Proverbs