There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” — John 10:19-21
With this text, we come to an end of a monumental encounter. A blind man, miraculously healed, now proclaims Jesus as Lord, while nearby Jews remain undecided about him. Over the past few moments, Jesus has shared symbolic stories of the Good Shepherd, sheep, thieves, robbers, and hired hands, revealing his divine nature, unique qualities, and earthly mission. Despite speaking hard truths, he aims to guide them toward solid, biblical answers to their initial question: "Who is this Jesus?" Ultimately, they arrive at two conclusions: either he is insane, possessed by a demon, or sane and sent by God.
Ultimately, this division is good news, as Jesus has convinced some to believe he is sane and sent by God.
The account in John 10 demonstrates the effort Jesus is willing to give to get people to unite under him. Jesus cares about our spiritual unity. Later in this Gospel, he will pray specifically for our unity. But Jesus's understanding of unity is not unity for the sake of unity. It's a unity that unites under him alone. It is unity under Jesus's leadership, identity, character, message, truth, and logic. Jesus's idea of unity is not blending our human ideologies into a new modern version. His understanding of unity is not sacrificing biblical truths under the heading of love and ignoring personal sin. This is why unity under him divides believers from unbelievers. But we also see it divides religious people who think they are believers that unite under God from those who actually believe and unite under God.
And this is why spiritual unity is so challenging. We have a hard time forfeiting our understanding of unity for his understanding of unity.
The simple solution is to unite under Jesus. To prioritize Jesus above all else. To set aside personal preferences, worldly ideologies, and even religious traditions that do not align with his truth. And then follow him.
So resolve to unite under Jesus. Surrender to His Lordship. Align your life with his teachings. And you will discover his unity. It's far better than any human version of unity, anyway.
- How does Jesus' concept of unity challenge your understanding of unity?
- Do you need to set aside personal preferences, ideologies, or religious traditions to unite under Jesus?
DO THIS: Set them aside, and unite under Jesus.
PRAY THIS: God, I confess that I have held onto personal preferences, worldly ideologies, and even religious traditions that do not align with Your truth. I ask for Your forgiveness and guidance to set aside those things that hinder my unity with Jesus.
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