Jesus showed us what love really is. Washing one another’s feet, and even laying down your life for your friend. Jesus taught his band of disciples from diverse backgrounds to love one another despite their predisposed prejudice.
He told the story of the “Samaritan hero” – two words that would never be used together in the language of a 1st century Jew. This hero rescued a half-dead Jewish man and paid his medical expenses, even though his culture taught him to reject all Jews. Jesus taught us to love our enemies.
These days, there might be more conflict than ever, between every imaginable sector of society. We are divided because of religion, nationality, race, views on politics, gender, and a thousand other things.
I’ve noticed that every one of us “likes it like we like it.” We have very strong views on the right way to do things. And sometimes we are not willing to give an inch to someone with a different view. We know we’re right.
Paul encourages us: “So I’m asking you, my friends, that you be joined together in perfect unity—with one heart, one passion, and united in one love. Walk together with one harmonious purpose and you will fill my heart with unbounded joy. Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves.”
Wow. Seeing others as more important than ourselves? If God is asking us to do that, it must be possible.
Jesus prayed for us to live in the same kind of unity we see between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Living that way will convince people that the Father really did send Jesus to be the Savior of the world.
“I pray for them all to be joined together as one even as you and I, Father, are joined together as one. I pray for them to become one with us so that the world will recognize that you sent me.”