The high priestly prayer in the garden is probably my favorite prayer of Jesus. It blows my mind that Jesus would be not only thinking about us but praying for us before the excruciating pain and sorrow he is about to face bearing our sins on the cross. Nevertheless, He shares how we will be sent out by God as He was sent out by God and prays for our joy and protection as those sent missionaries.
In today’s passage he prays for our unity and love. In an intimate conversation with His Father, He reflects on His unity with God and prays that we will experience that same unity with our Heavenly Father and each other. Today’s Jumpstart may be one of the only examples you’ll see of unity today. Whether through politics or race, it seems like we’re more divided than ever and Satan will continue to do everything he can to bring hostility and separation from God and each other. But that’s not God’s will for our life. In fact, God wants to reveal Himself to others through our unity and love for each other in a divided world.
That’s why Jesus says, “so that the world may believe that you sent me.” in verse 21 and, “so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” in verse 23. It’s also why the witness of the Gospel suffers when churches split and Christians fight over stupid issues. Jesus tells His Father, “I desire their unity as one and for them to experience the love I have received.” I pray that this is our same desire as a church—unity. All campuses one—united in Christ. Receiving the love of Christ demonstrated in the Gospel and lived out amongst a world that needs it. I experience that love in my family when we are united and it’s no different with God’s family. Let’s bond in Christ, and show the world that our God unites what the world divides.
- Is there someone within the church body that you need to be reconciled with, knowing that Jesus prayed for our unity?
- Is there something you can do to show that unity and love to an outside world the power of the Gospel? Maybe inviting someone to a Connect Group or practicing hospitality with other Believers toward others who don’t know Jesus?
By: Erik Koliser