Two hundred forty-two years ago, in 1776, thirteen British colonies in North America declared their independence and became the United States of America. Six years later, in 1782, the new nation adopted as one of its mottos the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” – “From Many, One.”
There is strength in numbers, but there is also strength in unity. This is true in military matters, economic matters, political matters, and even sociological matters; however, the point is most perfectly expressed – and for the most perfect of reasons – in one of the prayers of Jesus during the Last Supper:
“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. ... I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.’” (John 17:1-8, 20-23, NKJV; emphasis added.)
Of all the people for whom Jesus could have prayed on the night before He died, He prayed for you and me and all those who would come to believe in Him. And of all the things for which He could have prayed, He prayed for unity among us.
Unity among Christians is not just a good idea; it is part of God’s divine plan. It was not just a passing comment from the Son of God; it was His fervent prayer to His – our – Heavenly Father that we would be one so the world would know the Father sent Him to save them (John 3:16-17).
At a time in history when the world in general, and America in particular, seems so divided and evil seeks to overcome us through such divisions, please remember – and please pray – the prayer of Jesus on the night He was betrayed and handed over to be tortured and killed.
May we be one in Christ.
May the world believe.
May the world be saved.
-- Dr. John Morris