Journey to Unity – Day 4

Jesus Continues to Pray for His Disciples

14 “I gave them your message, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but I do ask you to keep them safe from the Evil One. 16 Just as I do not belong to the world, they do not belong to the world. 17 Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 I sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world. 19 And for their sake I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.”

Sometimes it seems that Jesus speaks with hyperbole: the world hated them. Do most of the people around you who are not Christ-followers actually hate you? I suppose they could if you overwhelmed them with your religion. Jesus is not giving us an excuse to be obnoxious, but he is praying to the Father about the cosmic battle for our souls and that of those in our communities. There’s a narrow gate that leads to life and a broad gate that leads to multiple self-destructive options. Christ is the portal to a radically different reality, a way of life that abandons self-interest and self-reliance, consumer values and personal rights.

Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth; your word is truth. What is truth? It’s God’s Holy Word which reveals God’s Holy Son. Truth is not limited to ideas, concepts, and doctrines, as important as they may seem to us. It’s Christ. Indeed, I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2).

The New Testament Greek word translated “truth” could be translated “reality.” The way of Christ is not primarily about doctrine and rules. It’s a way of life, a transcendent dimension of reality. The apostle Paul writes: For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Prayer

Everlasting Father, pull us out of the bonds of time and space. We have eternal life in your Son. We need to know what’s right and what’s wrong, what to believe and what not to believe. But abundant life is knowing you, Jesus, and the power of your resurrection. It’s a different dimension of reality, one that the world around us doesn’t understand. And forgive us, because way too often the world around us is more real to us than your abiding and sustaining presence. Forgive us for living by sight and not by faith. Give us eyes to see that you are real in every moment, that you are here for us in every circumstance and every relationship. Amen.

Going Deeper

So what is real? What is truth in your life? Is the truth of Christ and his word taking you deeper into the reality of God? Is it helping you find the peace of God that passes all understanding? We are devoting ourselves to a week of unity, a week to discover our interdependence with others. Do you have doctrines or rules that have, in effect, become more important than knowing Christ and making him known?

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