Saturday, June 16, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
There are three distinctive parts to the Prayer of Jesus found in John Chapter 17; Jesus praying for him to be glorified by the Father, Jesus praying for his disciples and Jesus praying for all who would believe in Him through the message of the disciples.
One of the things that stands out in this prayer is Jesus praying for unity, first among his disciples and then among all who would believe in him.
I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11)
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. (John 17:20, 21)
From the above verses, we can infer that, "If the world has to believe that God sent Jesus, there would have to be unity among the disciples and believers."
Jesus wanted the Father to protect the disciples by the power of his name, so that they would be one. A difference in opinion among the first disciples would be disastrous and Jesus prayed specifically that, that may not happen. Because of Jesus' intercession, the disciples were able to take the good news to the nations even amidst persecution. Sadly, unity is one of the things that is lacking now among believers; this Jesus knew from the beginning, would happen and so he prayed. Even among Bible believing Christians there is so much of discord.
Even now, Jesus expects and intercedes for all believers to be one. The enemy on the other hand is always working to divide the body of Christ. Whatever be the Bible adhering denominations that we attend or refrain from attending, the things that would matter in the end would be what Jesus once spoke to his disciples and the people who crowded to hear him....
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
The Apostle Paul's prayer for the believers in Philippi speaks how much he desired unity among them.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (Philippians 2:1, 2)
Christians Unite!, so that Christ may be known to the world and God be glorified.