Several months ago, a few of us were having a discussion on the topic of love as one of the fruits of the Spirit. We were looking at the bible passages John 13:1-35 (Jesus washes His Disciples’ Feet) and John 17:1-26 (Jesus’ prayer about being one with the Father and with us). Towards the end of our discussion we turned to to the question: what attitudes and values do you think characterize oneness?
The discussion erupted into the fact that Jesus spent his time on earth and going through the cross demonstrating the extravagance and intensity of God’s love for human beings not as a generic whole, but for each one individually. His primary motive and focus wasn’t just about fixing us, but demonstrating to us how much he valued and esteemed us and how much he longed for intimate relationship with each and every one of us.
The cross was the ultimate demonstration of this unconditional and uncompromising love God has for each one of us. What’s central to His heart is how he feels about us. Even though He knows everything about us, the good, the bad and the ugly, He chooses to love, i.e. value and esteem us and hold us in high regard. His view is not, “You poor thing.” Instead it is “You are the treasure that makes me rich.”
This characterizes oneness: He loving, valuing, and esteeming each one of us, and as we increasingly experience and embrace His love, we are transforming into persons that can love Him and others in increasing depth and intensity.