Scripture: John 17:23
Jesus is praying that his disciples would share in the same unity that he has with the Father. It isn't a partial unity. It isn't a developing unity. It is a complete unity. Jesus isn't just hoping that we'll all just get along. Rather, his prayer is for a complete and mature unity.
Unity is based on Christ's unity with the Father. In verse 11 he makes a dramatic link between unity and glory. Here's how I see this at work (and is the thrust of my message on 3/26...some day I'll figure out how to link my sermons here.)
- Christ humbled himself and served others.
- This glorified the Father.
- The Father noted the humiliation and glorified him.
- Their unity was preserved through Christ's humiliation because they chose to glorify one another.
This isn't hard to see where it's going. Want unity? Choose to glorify (honor) one another. When we humble ourselves and honor one another two things happen. God glorifies us and a watching world finally recognizes that God is truly at work in the church. When the church gives up it's squabbles over trivialities and begins to honor one another, Jesus said that the world will know Christ and his mission.
Today, Lord, I choose to glorify you. I acknowledge that you are the master and I am your servant. You must increase and I must decrease. As I show your glory today would you bring me into greater unity with you? Today, Lord, I choose to honor others and to find ways to serve them. Help me to be patient and to listen. Help me to love with Jesus' love and to bear the fruit of honor. In the name of Jesus, the glorified One. Amen.+