“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.” John 17: 20-21
As I’ve digged deeper in my walk as a disciple of Jesus, I’ve continued to redefine and sharpen what the word, love, means biblically compared to what the world portrays. We all know that we have been commanded to love all people. Yet as I’ve looked more deeply into Jesus’ message to His disciples, I see that He is trying to instruct them to deeply love each other.
John 17, Jesus’ final prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, is for unity amongst His followers. He doesn’t just call us to get along but to be joined as one! Church history shows our poor adherence to His command of unity.
I have a good friend and fellow believer who is new to faith and super passionate about Jesus. In his studies, he came to an understanding of baptism that differed slightly from our church’s. It was a very small difference but had huge implications. Because of what seemed like a minor difference, he felt the need to leave our church to find another far out of town. My natural inclination was to point my finger at him for creating division in the church. However, I was the one that needed to seek repentance.
John 17:21 says that we are to be one just as the Father and Son are one. I had no other option but to seek out my friend and love him! It is this kind of love that the passage states will convince people that Jesus is the Son of God!
Think about the 11 disciples just after Jesus died. They were tasked to spread this message to the entire world! They walked hand-in-hand and side-by-side as one so that the world would know that Jesus saves!
Do you love (as the Father and Son are one) the believers that are in your area?
What does your relationship with the local church look like?
If you were one of the 11 disciples, how would you love your Christian brothers/sisters differently?
How can you go love your believing brothers and sisters right now?
Here is a list of ideas to help you love other believers well:
- Encourage through difficult and exciting times in their lives
- Invite them over to eat
- Pray with them
- Worship with them
- Study and learn with them
- Find ways to live in community with them
- Walk with them in times that need correction
By Nathan Jenkins | Lincoln, NH