“endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (
If you knew you knew you were facing certain death, what would you be thinking? If you had the opportunity before the end of your life to pray, what would you ask for?
Jesus knew He was to be crucified and standing in the shadow of the cross we also know what was on His mind and what He prayed for; it is documented in John’s Gospel. Here is a repeated theme in that prayer:
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. (
He prayed not only for those disciples—He prayed for us—for all who would believe the Gospel. His prayer was for us to be connected in unity, and that unity would be the most convincing evidence of the Gospel message.
What a powerful force is unleashed when we are one in the bond of peace! No wonder then that Paul calls us in
4:3 to make every effort toward such unity.
I heard Dr. W.A. Criswell, the late pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas share a story at the largest gathering ever of the Southern Baptist Convention. It illustrates this point so well:
Years ago, I saw a pathetic picture in Life Magazine. A little boy had been lost in a horizon-to-horizon
wheat field, had wandered away from the house, and had lost his way in the vast
sea of standing stalks. Frantically, the parents had searched for the
small child to no avail. The sympathizing neighbors helped, but without
success. Finally, someone suggested they join hands and comb the fields
by sections. The picture I saw was the sorrowing neighbors with the
family standing over the dead body of the little boy, and the cry of the father
printed as the caption below: “Oh, if only we had joined hands before!” Kansas
All around us are souls that are perishing. Together we can reach them. In competition with other churches, or in conflict with other Christians, we will never have the combined strength that comes through a connected witness. Why don’t we join hands and hearts today as the people of God?