Before Jesus takes His disciples to the Mount of Olives and He is betrayed, He prays for unity not only among His current disciples but all the future disciples to come (John 17:20-23). His prayer is that “they would be one just as He and the Father were one.” For Him to teach this at such a critical time says it must be really important. But why?
Unity is a recurring theme in the Bible and one of eight spiritual laws. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let us made man in our image” revealing the unity, the agreement and harmony in the God head, the Trinity. When Adam and Eve sinned, they fell out of agreement and harmony with God and it was up to Jesus to restore it by His sacrifice. In Matthew 18:19-20 Jesus said “whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where 2 or 3 come together in my name (in agreement and harmony) I am there in the midst of them,” revealing that there is power in His name, especially in unified prayers.
In fact, unity is so powerful that even when used for evil it can accomplish much as evidenced by the Tower of Babel. Because the people were unified and labored for one purpose, God said in Genesis 11:6, “now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them.”
Nothing? How tremendous is that? If that can be said about people who are defying God, how much more will it apply to those united in His purposes! Think how that would impact the world! But before we can unite with each other we must be unified within ourselves. James 1:8 tells us that a “double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” And he describes this unstable man in verses 6-7: “he is like the waves of the sea tossed to and fro by the wind. Let not that man think he shall receive anything of the Lord.” Matthew 6:24 tells us that “no man can serve two masters.” So as strange as it may sound, we need to be in harmony with ourselves. We need to know what we believe, what we stand for, then live it. And we also need to be unified with God, with His desires, His purposes and not our own.
And once we are so unified, then we will be able to come into unity with those around us: our families, our coworkers, our community, our country—in mission and purpose, working toward a common good or goal. In Matthew 12:25 Jesus says, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
I think that’s what we are seeing in our country right now. We have forgotten that we are all in this together. We have forgotten the common good. We have forgotten that we can be unified and still diverse. We are not called to be clones or robots. 1Corinthians 12:4-7 tells us that “there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving but the same Lord is served. There are different abilities to perform service but the same God gives abilities to everyone for their particular service.”
So though we are different, we can still function in unity. And why is that so important, especially for the body of Christ? John 17:20-23 hints at the answer: So the world can see Jesus in us. And so we can accomplish much for God.
So how important is unity? Vital if we want to reach the world for Jesus. And for Christians, Godly diversity should never be an excuse for disunity.
Until next time,