As Jesus’ time on earth draws to a close, His Thursday was filled with love, encouragement, heartbreak and pain. As Jesus celebrated the Passover supper with His disciples in the Upper Room, Judas was dismissed as he had already decided in his heart to betray Jesus. Then Jesus spent precious hours teaching, reassuring and praying for His disciples. Later they went to the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed and gained strength from His Father. The soldiers came into the garden to arrest Jesus, and he was betrayed by Judas. They led him away to be tried in numerous trials both civilian and religious. He was beaten, flogged, insulted and denied by Peter.
During all this time, Jesus was focused on doing the will of the Father and completing His mission on earth, the redemption of mankind. I am touched when I consider His prayer in the Upper Room as recorded in John 17: 20-23 as he was thinking of me and you and not the ordeal he was facing.
I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me. (Message)
I was amazed that Jesus took time to pray for His mission, His disciples and All future believers that night in the Upper Room. He wanted all future believers to be unified in faith so we can tell others that Jesus was and is real and was sent by the Father. He says that the unity of our faith and oneness with Christ will give evidence to the unbelieving world that God loves us and truly sent His Son to redeem us. This unity was so important to our Lord and Savior that He interceded for us. Jesus wants us to be one in Spirit, united, telling others about Him.
What difference does it make that Jesus spend time on the last night before his crucifixion praying for you? When you are with other believers do you strive for the unity Christ desired or are you seeking to divide and cause unrest in matters of faith with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you about the sharing of your faith with others by showing kindness, love and speaking of the hope you have in Jesus? Today, think of Jesus and what He desires for all believers. Strive to walk in unity. He promises it will show the world that we believe in Him and God’s love.
Prayer: Father, I am humbled and amazed that Jesus prayed for me on His last night on earth. He loved me so much and wanted me to be one in faith and unified in spirit with all believers. Help me to live today with an abiding faith in You so that the people I meet will know that I love You and that You love me. Empower me to show your love to others so that you may be glorified in all I say and do. Amen.
Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can be unified with other believers in Jesus’ name and share in His love.