2011-02-18 - Be One
Back in verse 21 he asks God "that they all may be one". Verse 23 tells us that the way to perfection is thorough being one. We become perfect through being one. Being one is important to him. In fact Jesus pleads with the Father four times about this matter - once in verse 11, twice in verse 21, and again in verse 22. God made one man and one woman - just one family of mankind. It is only our sin and ignorance that divides us whether it's by skin color, nationality, or whatever. Even us Christians aren't immune to our divisive ways but we should learn to be. Because as Paul reminds us, "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6 ) I wonder if he ever looks down on us, those called by his name, and cries over our clubs, cliques, and denominations - all the silly things we invent that are all about prideful religions rather than personal relations. We divide ourselves in so many ways and many are so trivial. When we do though be cause we are one body it is like tearing an arm off Jesus himself. We ought to be one - we must be one.
Nearing the end of his prayer, Jesus prays "that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them" in verse 26. We are to be love. What a glorious job he desires for us - he wants us to be his love. He wants us to be His body - to be his hands and to be his feet to all we encounter. We are to be His amazing love.
We can come to God, come to church, and come to pray; we can go to tell, go to teach, and go to touch lives. We can come & go all we want but if we cannot be love all our action is in vain. Listen how Eugene Peterson beautifully paraphrases the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 13. "If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, 'Jump,' and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. " (I Corinthians 13:1-3 MSG) Mother Theresa once said, "It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving."
It is a great blessing to be his love. Ephesians 3:19 says that in knowing the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God. His desire is for us to be his love but his offer is for us to be his fullness. Love enables fullness, completion, perfection. In being love we become the others. There is no division in love only unity so fully being love we become one. And in love we receive his fullness - his perfection.
Next time we will look at the final part of "Be". Until then...
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.