READ : John 17:20-26
I ask . . . on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. (vv. 20-21)
Have you ever been in a group where dissension was evident? It can happen among friends, co-workers, family, a church, or an athletic team. Division occurred between the disciples as they argued about who was the greatest and between Paul and Barnabas after their first missionary journey. Distrust and division was what Satan used to lead Adam and Eve to act in a way that separated them from God.
Jesus knew the importance of unity and teamwork. He prayed for oneness among believers in order that the world might believe. The word one appears four times in three verses in John 17:21-23.
In light of what Christ has done to unify us with God, we must do everything in our power, with the help of God, to be unified with other believers. Quarreling believers and divided churches endanger our ability to witness to those who are living apart from Jesus Christ.
The greatest threats to unity come from arrogance, self-centeredness, and the struggle for power. Oneness comes through humility, servanthood, teamwork, and sacrifice. Which list of characteristics is most visible in your life?
Father, unify us around the cause of Jesus Christ so that the world may know of your great love. Amen.