This weeks article is written by Katie Johnston! She loves coffee, the cinema, people, and Jesus. Her dream job is becoming Rapunzel’s face character at Disneyland! She’s a sophomore this year and studying Small Group Ministry.
Have you ever wanted to be part of something bigger? Something so huge, it would be completely out of this world? Something that people would look at and be utterly blown away because of its sheer magnitude and glory?
Okay, maybe that’s a little outrageous. I don’t think many of us are that ambitious.
But what if you could be?
What if the Savior of all people prayed that you would be?
And not just you. What if He made it so that anyone from anywhere in the world could be a part of his “something bigger”? Regardless of nation, worldview, culture, or language.
That would be awesome; and it’s just what He did.
When you read Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-21 (that those who will believe in him may be one) what do you think about?
Often times when people hear that verse they think about how many dominations there are – how can they possibly be one?
But do you think Jesus was just talking about denominations (If he was thinking about denominations at all…)? Or could He have had something bigger in mind?
Earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus says,
“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16 NIV). Jesus knew his mission was worldwide. We see that in the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19 NIV, emphasis added). He wanted to bring in all people, from the ends of the earth!
After Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross was finished, and He had resurrected and ascended to heaven, the Apostle Paul wrote to Gentiles in Ephesus (non-Jews – from different nations). He encouraged them that in Jesus, they “who once were far away [had] been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13 NIV).
Paul goes on to describe how Jesus brings peace between the nations of Jews and Gentiles. Christ’s purpose? “To create in himself one new humanity out of the two” (Ephesians 2:15).
Jesus’ prayer was to create one new humanity out of the nations. He prayed this so that the world will know that God sent Jesus to them and loves them. They will know this when they see people who would normally live in fear or hostility toward one another – or just on the other side of the neighborhood – living instead with love for one another.
And Jesus makes this possible. He has given us his glory so that we may be brought to complete unity, no matter what continent, country, or culture we come from (you can read about that in John 17:22-23). We are now “citizens with God’s people and members of his household,” (Ephesians 2:19 NIV). No more reason to spread out and separate; no more reason to hate or to fear. In Christ Jesus, we are now one. We are a part of something bigger.