How great is it to know that Jesus Christ Himself prays for us? We read in Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus is He who died, rather He who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also INTERCEDES and PRAYS for us!” and again in Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Yet this is a mark of what Christ is doing right now for us, as He sits on the right hand of God, on His throne. But, before Christ left this earth, He also prayed a very specific prayer in JOHN 17.
John 17 is Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer!” and It is an amazing prayer of Christ as He is praying to His Father in Heaven. It is broken up into 3 different parts:
Verses 1-8 – Jesus Prays for Himself
Verses 9-19 – Jesus Prays for Disciples
Verses 20-26 – Jesus Prays for All Believers (present and future)
It is absolutely amazing to me that God’s master plan is for us. For me and you and the church as a whole to reconcile the world back to God. To be His ambassadors. To be His hands and feet. The very children and heirs of God. Here, God reminds us all of another task set before us. THAT WE BE UNIFIED – SO THAT – the world may believe and know that God sent Him, He lived, and He died and rose again! Basically, by the way we act and who we are as a church will play into the world around us believing in the Way, the Truth, and the Life and be able to receive salvation!
That’s your master plan Jesus? To leave us in charge? What if we screw up, ok scratch that, what about WHEN we screw up? Ok, scratch that too, what now that we’ve already screwed up?
Well, this is the reason why Jesus thought it pertinent to pray for all of us before He left. He new we needed help. But if there is one thing that we see from Christ and His call on our life, is that He holds us to a higher standard. And even though the world is segregated, angry, broken, fighting…as for the people who are followers of Jesus…He wants them to be UNITED and marked with the LOVE of Christ.
Why? Can you imagine a unified Body of believers not fighting, enjoying each other and living for not themselves but for God and each other? Can you imagine how the outside world would want to know how this is possible and further more how do they get this? Christ new exactly what He was doing praying this. He knew that this would be so different and revolutionary that the WORLD would come to know HIM through this. There would be no more calling the Church HYPOCRITES, but instead we would be seen as people who are walking the talk…and who were forever changed by the Word of GOD! Him living in us would be EVIDENT by the way we live… together!
For more on Unity…read Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 4. For more on LOVE read John 13:34-35 and Hebrews 10:23-25.
UNITY in the EARLY CHURCH:
Here is what UNITY looked like in the Early Church in Acts 2:42-26:
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.
And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,”
Can you see this playing itself out in our local church? It would be awesome!
So how do we promote this? Let’s Rise Up Church! May we allow the World to see that Christ is real…He did come, He did serve, He did die, He did rise again, He did ascend into heaven where He is preparing a place for us…and HE WILL COME AGAIN!