John 17 to impact me. (I call it His "Death Row Prayer" because this was what Jesus prayed just before He was arrested, then put to death to take the punishment for the sins of the whole world.)
Around a decade ago, I read what Jesus prayed for everyone who would believe in Him through the message of His 11 disciples. He prayed that we would be one, just like He and God are one.
Did you get that? I'm thinking that Jesus and God are tight. He prayed that the people who believe in Jesus here would be tight like that. Legit.
Then, He said what would happen if we were one, like He and the Father are one: "May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me." That blew me up. Jesus prayed that the followers who would come after His original 11 disciples would be one, and that our togetherness in Jesus would be a living expression that the rest of the world would see. And when they saw that they would believe that God sent Jesus.
It's Saturday morning, I'm at my favorite coffee shop, and just met a new friend. She believes in a God, but thinks that Jesus is just a good teacher, not God's unique Son, sent as a savior to rescue a lost and dieing world.
I'm not sure of every detail of how God is planning to show her His incredible Love and Rescue plan, expressed through Jesus. But I know it is going to include her experiencing Jesus through the body He left on the earth.
That Body, of course, is the church, the collection of people in a place who have been given soul-life, if you will, through putting your faith in Jesus.
I'm praying that my new friend will see us accurately re-present Jesus in us, as a Community of Faith, on this mission together.
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