"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.-John 17:22-23
John 17 begins with Jesus praying "Father, the hour has come." Quickly we realize that Jesus is in His final moments before meeting His prophesied fate of being nailed to a cross. He knew what awaited Him and of all of the things he endured , and people he encountered-He stopped to pray for you and me. Allow that to wash over you. The Savior of the world prayed for us! Christ was burdened by our unity at the very end of His life on earth. Throughout this chapter, Jesus prayed for the disciples and then "for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." (v. 20,21) Jesus knew that the unity of the believers, would validate to the world that He was indeed sent by God. There is no way that anyone can contest that Jesus himself cared about the community and unity of believers. His very message of unconditional love is shown when we throw aside our differences, affiliations, and preferences, and embrace the common denominator which is Christ.
How we treat each other, how we encourage one another, rebuke one another in love is what proves to a lost world that WE ARE HIS! I have to believe that if unity was important to my Savior, it should be that much more important to us. Today, reflect with me on ways that God is calling us out of the darkness of isolation, bitterness, and shame and compelling us to be united with one another in Christ's love. There is strength in unity. There is power in sharing your testimony or struggles with other believers who can stand with you in prayer. The enemy lurks in the pits of isolation and division, reach out and grab a hand of another believer and you'll both come out VICTORIOUS!