Finding Unity In Christ

“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” - Matthew 5:44

Over the last few days, we have talked about the power of prayer and how you can draw on the power of God through prayer. God wants to put His power to work in you, through you, and for you. But we must be careful we do not allow anything to hinder us from receiving the power of God.

In the Upper Room where the apostles met, there were many more people in the room. We are told that almost 100 others were in the room. Luke gives us all of the details not incidentally, but intentionally, and he does so to underscore the deep division and interpersonal conflicts that existed among these believers at the time Jesus died. Think about it. There had been competition among the disciples during the ministry of Jesus about who would be the most important among them. 

There were also the tensions that must have existed between Jesus’ family and the disciples, when Jesus appears to have chosen the disciples over his mother and brothers. How did they feel that Jesus spent more time with these guys (seemingly abandoning his family) than He did at home. On top of all that, there were all the people that Jesus helped or healed that no good Jew could tolerate. There were women with issues of blood, lepers, centurion soldiers, prostitutes, tax collectors, Samaritans, you name it. 

Luke identifies all these people to let us know that this issue is more than just that they were praying under the same roof. It’s to let us know that these people had history together and to let us know what it must have taken to get them in the room together. They were people of different backgrounds; rich and poor, outsiders, and insiders, Jews and gentiles, folks of high social standing and others from the streets, those who knew Jesus very intimately and others who did not. 

They had to take their history, their hostility, their frustrations, their tensions, their suspicions, and their uncertainties and get in that room together. If you have ever had beef with someone you know what it is like to feel that tension and conflict. You might not speak to that person any longer, hard feelings have festered. But these people did not let these differences keep them from coming together for a greater purpose. If you are struggling to let go of conflict, do not let this be what prevents you from the power God wants to unleash in your life! 

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