It is an undeniable truth that Jesus has a deep desire for his flock to live in unity. That truth comes to light in passages such as John 17:20-21. Jesus says, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Why does Jesus say it is so important for all of God’s children to be one? “So that the world may believe you have sent me.” There is no doubt that Jesus desires, and requires, unity. But the thing is, unity is not simply an arbitrary idea. It is a call to action.
Jesus did not simply teach the idea of unity; he practiced it. We find that truth in how Jesus picked his apostles. Many of those closest to Jesus could not have been more different. Take, for instance, Matthew and Simon the Zealot. Simon was a part of a group (Zealots) of Jewish revolutionists dedicated to rebelling against the Roman government. Matthew was a tax collector, meaning that he was a Jew that worked for the Roman government. His Job? Taking taxes (likely more than necessary) from the very people that Simon was aiming to protect from the government. They could not have been less alike. So, what was it that brought these two together? A love for God and a devotion to Jesus.
In a book I recently read, when talking about unity, the author drove home the fact that unity and uniformity are not synonymous. Uniformity is the idea that we are all alike in our backgrounds, economic standings, political beliefs, etc.. The unity that Christ calls us to is not a unity derived from uniformity. It is derived from a love for God and salvation through Christ. God does not ask us to look the same. He asks us to love and obey the same. His followers come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, but are called to be one in Christ Jesus. Why? So that the world will know that God sent Jesus and that He loves the world just as He loved His Son (John 17:23).
Via The Encourager
Calvert City, KY