“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.” — John 17:22
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Team unity is often the difference between success and failure. Disunity can tear apart a team, a family, a church, a community, a country, etc. Team bonding matters. Unity among believers equally matters. Jesus so highly valued it that He prayed for it. Jesus taught that how believers come together will make a difference in the world: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
The 11 true followers of Jesus who heard Him pray in John 17 came from diverse backgrounds and had different personalities. They had various occupations and different political views. They didn’t always get along. They argued over how to spend the group’s money. There was jealousy over who got the more prestigious positions. At times, negative family influences brought about challenges to the unity of the group.
Through it all, Jesus kept teaching and modeling the love and acceptance needed for a oneness of mind and spirit (Philippians 2:5-8). Their unity grew and strengthened. When trials and critical moments came, they were together. On the Sunday evening following the crucifixion and resurrection, they were together (John 20:19-20). When leadership decisions needed to be made, they were together (Acts 1:12-26). When one of them was imprisoned, they were together (Acts 12:6-19).
Unity among true followers of Jesus makes a difference in the world.
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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