The Witness of Christian Unity
Scripture Reading — John 17:20-26
“May [they] be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them …”
—John 17:23 —
During a visit to Israel, one thing I saw that made one of the deepest impressions on me wasn’t a historical site but a biblical truth being lived out. Many Christians there today are working hard to strengthen the bonds between Arab Christians and Messianic Jews (Christians who are ethnically Jewish).
In the news we often hear of conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis. Unreported are the countless times when Christians live by Jesus’ prayer for them to be united. In Christ, the old “dividing wall of hostility” between Jew and Gentile has been destroyed (Ephesians 2:14). While this often presents challenges for the people involved, the Spirit of Christ is doing good things there.
When Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews look at one another and see brothers and sisters in Christ, their neighbors see an alternate way to live. When you and I look at believers from other groups—even those that have caused offense in the past—and we overflow with love for them, the world will know who God is.
How will you demonstrate the unity Christ won for us in his death and resurrection? If you feel that unity is impossible, rest assured that Jesus is praying for it. Unity doesn’t have to mean uniformity, but a common mission. Graceful Christian witness happens when we aim to live as one in Christ.
Triune God, we confess that if we were left to ourselves, the devil could divide and conquer us quickly. As you are three in one, so let your church be one. In Jesus, Amen.