I wonder just how much people in the church really know the deepest desires of Jesus? We saw one of those desires a few days ago, that he really desired an intimate relationship with us. That eternal life is all about drawing close to him, knowing him, and being known by him.
But that’s not his only desire for us. He desires us to be in complete unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. He prayed,
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. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (20-23)
Jesus desires that we have the same kind of relationship with each other as he does with the Father. A relationship where we are one. What does that mean?
Part of that means unity in purpose. That we are all working together toward the same goal: the preaching of the gospel. But I think it also means a relationship where we are honoring each other above ourselves. Where we’re looking out for each other’s interests above our own. (Philippians 2:3-4)
But too often, we don’t live that way. And when people walk into the church, they see the same bickering, resentful spirit that they see outside the church. The result? They walk away.
Meanwhile, the people in the church are so self-involved, they don’t even notice what just happened. And because of that Jesus grieves.
How much do you grieve Jesus by how you treat others in the church? By the jealousy, the backbiting, and the resentment you hold in your heart? Not only are we hurting him, but we hurt ourselves. Worse, we cause the world around us to continue stumbling in the dark because they’re convinced they won’t find any light in the church.
How about you? Are you one with those in your church?