1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; (Ps 133. KJV)
“Will He answer this my prayer?” asked Dr Rachel. “Yes, He always does.” I responded. This was part of a conversation my wife and I had sometime earlier in the year with a learned acquaintance.
The conversation led to talking about whether God answered every prayer of Jesus while on earth. According to Dr Rachel, God did answer all apart from two instances. “What! which ones?”, I was obviously very curious to know which these instances were where God the Father did not answer the prayers of His Son, of whom He said He was well pleased.
Dr Rachel proceeded to give the two instances;
1.”39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.(Matt 26)“, and
2.“that they may be one, just as We are one.”(John 7:22.)
The consideration for this post is more for the second prayer, and less for the first one. Perhaps in future God will give us an opportunity to examine the first one in another post. The question then becomes, “Did God answer Jesus’ prayer for unity of believers or not? ”
If one is to just look at what is evident externally in Christendom, there are as many believe systems among Christians as there are denominations if not more. In my own christian walk, I’ve been to at least 5 denominations and to some degree each has been different from the other. The answer may not always be evident to the natural eye, but I believe the Holy Spirit is working towards that end;
“13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Eph 4.KJV)
Oh, what a glorious end!…,but how shall this be?. I believe the Holy Spirit is at work in every child of God, conforming us to the image of God’s Son, leading each to submit to Christ as the head of the body, the church, the one new man.
So to my friend and many that may be wondering whether Jesus’ prayer for believers’ unity was answered or will ever be answered, I can answer that with confidence, a resounding yes! , and urge us all to let go all other ground (nationality, race, gender, creed, …) of unity, apart from Christ, for all other is sinking sand, the ground upon which if we build our lives upon will eventually crumble, but Christ the foundation which has been laid will stand for eternity…Christ our life, and only basis of true unity!