In the book of John, Jesus doesn’t simply pray for the disciples. He also prays for all of those who will come after them. He prays for us. You and I right now. And his prayer is that we would be “one” in the same way that he and the Father are one.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also 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. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 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 17:20–23)
The heart of Jesus for his children is that they’d see they are on the same team. He prayed for a oneness in our identity with Jesus. A oneness in spirit so strong it would mirror his connection to the Father. He didn’t pray for oneness in personality. He didn’t ask that we would all have the same gifting or convictions.
I think many times we imagine unity being built on a foundation of agreement. That kind of unity can’t happen until we all see the world in the same way. Until we carry all of the same social or theological convictions. But we build this assumption based on the detail in opinion that we see up close.
Sometimes like an artist who steps back from his painting to get a true view of his work, we need to take a step back to clearly see the spirit of unity that God is pouring on his people. Today. Right now.
I see it increasing all around the world.
The unity that God is pouring out is not found in a common set of theological points. It isn’t that we all care about the same issues. God is not calling us to sameness but to unity. Loving one another not simply in spite of our differences but because of our differences.
[The is an excerpt from the OUTCRY book]