“Soybean oil, water, eggs…” These are the first three ingredients in real mayonnaise; and they tell a compelling story. In chemistry, mayonnaise is known as an emulsion. Emulsions are comprised of two incompatible ingredients (e.g., oil and water) which are blended together and remain stable when an emulsifying agent is introduced. In mayonnaise, the emulsifiers are eggs.
Tony Evans uses the mayonnaise example in his series on racial unity entitled “Oneness Embraced.” Addressing division within our culture and within the church, Evans contends that unless diverse cultures focus on Christ (the church’s emulsifier), there will never be the type of unity Jesus desired for His church.
In John 17, Jesus prayed for His immediate disciples and all who would come to faith through them (i.e., us, the church). Listen to part of that prayer:
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (vv. 20-21, ESV, emphasis added)
According to this passage, what Jesus wanted for His followers more than anything else was for us to be one. “One” in this verse comes from a Greek word that is best defined by what it’s NOT. “One…as opposed to many; as opposed to division into parts.”
That’s what Jesus wanted for us, but why? Why does Jesus want His followers to be one instead of many? One instead of divided parts? The answer is stated clearly for us in the next verse – so the world will KNOW that the Father sent the Son. You see, others will know US by our love (John 13:35). But others will know GOD, and the deity of Jesus, by our unity.
In many ways unity is a greater testimony than love. Unbelievers can muster love for one another…but unifying people with different backgrounds takes a mighty work of God.
What can you do to bring about unity/oneness in Christ’s church? –Dave
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