Disunity is a common feature in our world. The nature of politics highlights this; there is constant debate between opposing voices. In contrast the message of God’s word looks forward to a time of oneness. The friction created by those who were jealous of the tremendous popularity of Jesus reaches its peak following the fresh burst of support and belief in him after he raised Lazarus.
The High Priest Caiaphas unwittingly prophesied “that one man should die for the people” (John 11:50). But he saw it from his own jealous human perspective that Jesus should die – so that there would be no rebellion that would jeopardise and even destroy their own position of authority.
Then John adds the comment, that the death of Jesus would also “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (verse 52). Initially Jews and Gentiles who believed in Jesus became one body in Christ. Their united appreciation of the plan and purpose of God was the catalyst.
Mary and Martha demonstrated their faith in God’s plan even before Lazarus came to life again. We read today, “I know that he (Lazarus) will rise again in the resurrection at the last day … that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (verses 24,27). This is when “the children of God” will be one. The principles that God’s children must willingly follow are well spelt out in Proverbs 28 which we also read today. “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it completely” (verse 5). “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered” (verse 18). “A faithful man (or woman) will abound with blessings” (verse 20). “Whoever trusts his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered” (verse 26). Let us not trust in our own mind but feed daily on God’s word and look forward to being there when Jesus returns to “gather into one the children of God”.