There is a lot of talk about unity today. Inclusion and tolerance are promoted, yet in spite of all of this talk, our differences continue to be what we focus most on. Sadly, this is true in Christian churches too. As we see in Acts chapter 6, it is not a new church phenomenon.
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. Acts 6:1
What I find amazing about this chapter is that we are told that the number of believers greatly increased at this time in Jerusalem. But do we see the church celebrating the victories and praising God for the incredible increase in the number of believers.? No, we are told that the Greeks complained about the Hebrew speaking people. If the church in Acts, in the face of phenomenal success, found people who spoke different languages complaining against each other, what hope does the church have today? The only hope we have in anything, Jesus.
Jesus prayed to God the Father for Believers to be united.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:21-23
In this passage, Jesus is not talking about worldly unity, where everything is accepted as truth, thus eliminating “truth.” If all is true then nothing is true. Jesus was speaking of the “perfect unity,” that can only come through faith in Jesus Christ. Thabiti Anyabwile said that “Christ’s blood creates a different, closer lineage. “(T4G conference 2008) What unites us is so much stronger than petty differences in how we look or what language we speak.