By This, They Will Know
On the heels of Jesus calling His followers not to judge one another, He extended two measuring sticks by which He gave the non-Christian world permission to judge His church.
The first measuring stick is found in Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Three times He prayed, “Father, may they be one as You and I are one, so that the world will know that you sent Me.”
The second is found in John 13. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There they are, undeniable evidence to a watching world that Jesus is who He claims to be and we are truly his disciples, Unity and Love.
Jesus said that when we, as Christians, walk together in unity, a message is sent to the watching world that He is who He claims to be, the Savior of the world. And when we love one another, just as He has loved us, the watching world will know that we are His disciples.
What is at stake here? When the world sees Christians at odds with one another, they have every right to conclude that Jesus is not who He claimed to be. And when Christians refuse to walk together in love, the world has every right to conclude that we are not His disciples.
If what Jesus said is true and that unity and love are church’s greatest and most visible testimonies, is it any wonder that the devil works overtime to keep Christians from manifesting these two qualities?
A song that was written and made popular during the 1970’s Jesus Movement, was titled They Will Know That We Are Christians By Our Love. The call of the song is that true unity and love will be badge that will wear so that the world will come to know that Jesus is who He claims to be and that we truly are His followers.
What a timely message for the world in which we live. Today it is being torn apart by discord and hatred. The church has little to offer our troubled world if we cannot put aside our differences. And let it be known that the majority of things that divided the modern-day church, fall outside of the saving faith that is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Now, as never before, is our chance to model to a watching world, the undeniable evidence of a changed life, unity and love among the brothers and sisters who make up Christ’s church.