English-speaking church in Eindhoven

Jesus Praying for Unity

Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day after his resurrection. During the forty days, he appeared to his disciples and others and showed them that he was alive. Mark 16:19 says, ‘Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.’ What does ‘sat down’ mean? It is the exact representation of God’s nature. He is seated on the throne. When kings and presidents assume responsibility they sit on the throne/chair to symbolise that they rule the country. Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of God, is ruling for sure. But how does he rule? He is ruling the world, not by punishing the guilty and rewarding the righteous, but by praying for us. One scholar said, ‘Jesus, when he came to this world, he brought God to us. But by ascending to heaven, he took us along with him.’ When he comes in glory, in his second coming, the righteous will be suitably rewarded.

What does he pray for? John records Jesus’ prayer in chapter 17. Jesus, the chief high priest, intercedes for his disciples. It is a long prayer. He prays primarily for the unity of his people. He wants us to be one as Father and Son are one. I do not think Jesus is promoting uniformity or conformity. Plurality is God’s design and diversity is God’s plan. Uniformity is an easy job. We can ask people to come in the same colour dress. But, establishing unity in diversity is a task and Jesus prays for it. Is this unity achievable? Yes, if we are connected with Jesus, the source of unity. In a match, one team wins. The team which wins, shouts in one voice, we won! we won! Jesus won salvation for us. He did it all by himself. Whoever has received salvation, should celebrate the victory in spite of their diversity. Yes, being one voice of victory we win the world! May God help us to dwell in unity while enjoying the diversity among us! God bless!