This morning, I read an explosive statement from John’s Gospel. It was if John mentioned it in passing. The implications of it, however, are massive. In what is an almost parenthetical statement, John comments on something Caiaphas said about Jesus. John wrote that something Caiaphas said was actually a prophecy about Jesus. And the prophecy was that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one (John 11:51-52).

This is mind-blowing, Father. Jesus died, not just for the Jews, but for all the nations. And He didn’t just do it so all the nations of the earth could be saved. He did it to bring us together and make us one. It’s exactly what Jesus prays for us in John 17. So Father, I pray this for West Franklin today. First, that we would be one. That we would be unified. That we would see each other as brothers and sisters, on equal standing and status in Your kingdom. That we would humble ourselves with one another and be one in heart, mind, and motive and intention. Second, I pray we would be one with other believers in Franklin. Unified. Together. Not necessarily on a particular issue, as wonderful as that would be. But together in status. Together in standing. Together in position. Together in opinions toward one another. May we not think we are better than other denominations, races, or social status. May others not think they are inferior to us. May we not consider ourselves less loved than others and vice-versa. May we be one.

Finally, Father, may we see this “passing statement” by John as a mandate. A mandate to go after Your scattered children all over the world. In our neighborhood. In our workplaces. In our city. In our state. Throughout out country and throughout the globe. May we see them as we were/are – lost and helpless and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd. May we see them as “one” of us. May we deem it an honor and privilege to tell them they have been adopted and provided a seat at the table with You – their heavenly Father.

Bring us together and make us one, Father. It’s why You sent Jesus.

Transform us all for your glory and our joy.