Love and Unity

Love and Unity

John 17:20-26–The Bible makes a clear point – God is love, and Jesus is God. If we want to understand love, to see it in action, we need only look to Jesus. Even though appreciated for its religious value, Jesus’ love often seems disconnected from popular expressions of love in our nation. For example, according to the National Retail Federation, US consumers spent $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day last year. The same organization reported that Americans spent nearly $1 trillion on Christmas in the same year. Market forces have tethered romantic love and the love of family and friends to their economic goals. Additionally, Taylor Swift’s break-up songs and the romcom movie genre evidence the entertainment industry’s influence in defining love in our culture. The ever-present pressures of our culture’s economic and entertainment interests offer a portrait of love that differs from its presentation in Jesus. So, what does Jesus’ love look like? 

John 13-17 records Jesus’ final discourse with his disciples and includes a marked emphasis upon love, which Jesus defined through four characteristics – unity, obedience, service, and sacrifice. This lesson begins a series considering those characteristics, starting with unity.