Category Archives: Unity

“Everyone but Judas” Clause

HATE

We hate some persons because we do not know them;
and will not know them because we hate them.
Charles Caleb Colton

In John 13:35, we find Jesus instructing His disciples, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It would be easy to assume that the Lord was instructing  each disciple to love the others who were gathered  in that room, or perhaps, to love every follower of Christ, whether they were present or not. However, in this passage of Scripture, Jesus had just informed the disciples of a traitor in their midst; one that would soon betray Him. Were the disciples supposed to love him as well?

Judas was obviously not a true disciple, but he was amongst the other men when Jesus commanded them all to love one another; there was no “everyone but Judas” clause. There is a great lesson to be learned here, one that is taught in many  passages of Scripture, including Matthew 5:44, wherein Jesus admonished, “….Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.”

It isn’t very difficult to love others when you know them, and they love you back, but loving someone that hates you can be quite difficult;  especially if they hate you for no apparent reason. Nonetheless, Jesus forbids us to repay hatred with hatred, no matter the circumstance.

Dear reader, there is little doubt that in today’s cold, impersonal society, some folks will hate each other for no reason other  than the one stated by Mr. Colton. It is all the more urgent, therefore, that you love others as Jesus intended. And that  includes every ‘Judas’ in your life!  Remember, there is no “everyone but Judas” clause in the Lord’s book.

Different Perspectives

Different Perspectives

There we were; our intellects pitted against the artificial intelligence of a simple computer game, and we were temporarily on the losing side. Although my husband and I both enjoy computer games which require strategy, we are often confounded by them. It’s not that we lack smarts; there are just some things in life that are a bit more complex and harder to figure out –teenagers, for instance.

Still, it fascinates me the way that my husband and I, sitting at the same computer, playing the same game, always see things from an entirely different perspective. About the time I see a great strategic move, he does something completely unexpected, yet effective –and vice versa. Even so, we usually manage to conquer the game somehow.

I find the same principle holds true in everyday life. Some of the more complicated decisions require effective strategy, yet my husband and I often approach the matter from different perspectives. It is amazing how uniquely God has created each of us. And yet, we can work quite well together and achieve the same goals quite effectively.

And the same holds true for the body of Christ. We are all working together for the same purpose, which is sharing the gospel with those who are lost and perishing. Given the vast number of denominations, and their differing outreaches, it is obvious that we are all approaching this great commission with very different perspectives. And there is nothing wrong with that, so long as we are not breaching God’s commandments; because reaching the lost, not being an easy task to accomplish, often requires diverse strategies.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying, as do many deceived individuals, that all roads lead to Heaven. Absolutely not! There is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). However, we must always remember that our battle is with evil, spiritual, forces and not with each other. Besides, we may be pleasantly surprised to find that another’s methods are far more effective than our own, even if they are quite dissimilar.

Finally, brethren, let us not forget Ephesians 4:2-6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.