Summary: What Jesus really wants for Christmas is ambassadors who will be his representatives everywhere they go. Therefore, all Christians should live as an ambassador for Christ 24/7.
… although this is a festive time of year, it can also be a difficult and stressful time for a certain group -- a group whose needs, all too often, are overlooked in our society. That group is: men. Why is the Christmas season so hard on men? There are many complex and subtle reasons, by which I mean: women.
This problem dates to the very first Christmas. We know from the Bible that the Wise Men showed up in Bethlehem and gave the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Now, gold is always a nice gift, but frankincense and myrrh -- at least according to my dictionary -- are gum resins. Who gives gum resins to a baby?
The answer is: men. The Wise Men, being men, didn’t even start shopping for gifts until the last minute, when most of the stores in the greater Bethlehem area were closed for Christmas Eve. The only place still open was Big Stu’s House of Myrrh. (Dave Barry, Christmas 2004)
Of course this is just for fun – there were perfectly good cultural reasons for giving frankincense and myrrh, but it does raise the question: What exactly do you give to a King? Especially a King who has everything – all power, all wisdom, all wealth at his disposal.
We’ve been answering that question over the last couple of weeks. What does Jesus want for Christmas?
1. He wants disciples who will give Him complete control.
2. He wants servants to follow His example and demonstrate His love.
3. He wants ambassadors to represent Him in this world.
Before we go to the scripture to help you understand what this means, it’s important we start with a basic understanding of what an ambassador is.
1 A diplomatic official of the highest rank appointed and accredited as representative in residence by one government or sovereign to another, usually for a specific length of time.
3 An authorized messenger or representative.
In order for the United States to protect it’s citizens in foreign countries, and in order to protect our interests in foreign nations – we have ambassadors appointed by our government. These folks are sent to live in other places that are not their home – but while there they act as a representative of the United States of America.
Jesus wants ambassadors for Christmas. He wants people who will represent HIM and HIS KINGDOM until He returns to the earth again.
We see this in Matthew 9:35.
Matt. 9:35-10:1 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
It is God’s desire that all men, women, and children be saved through the shed blood of Jesus. And I always find it fascinating that in this quick little scene in Jesus’ life, he looks out over the crowd of people and he sees so many who will respond to the love and shepherding that God can offer them, if only someone will go as God’s representative and tell them about it.
There is no shortage in the amount of people who will respond to the gospel. The shortage is in the amount of people who will act as Christ’s ambassadors on earth.
Now let me share with you some amazing truths about our role as ambassadors for Jesus Christ.
1. Ambassadors for Christ speak and act with His authority.
Let’s go back to the passage I just read from Matthew 9. In verse 35 it describes what it was Jesus was doing: going, teaching, preaching, healing. He then makes his statements about the need for workers to go out in His name to bring in a harvest of souls. And then Matthew 10:1 records that he called his disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
Jesus doesn’t send out his disciples as “lame duck” ambassadors. Furthermore, we are not expected to act in our own authority to try and bring change into people’s lives or convince them of their need for Jesus in their lives. When we go out to serve someone in the name of Jesus, or to speak to them about the love of Jesus and their need to repent and receive eternal life, we go IN THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS. When we pray for someone to be healed, we don’t do it out of our own authority – we have been given authority in the name of Jesus to pray for healing. We have been given authority over the powers of evil at work in this world – not because of our own greatness of course, but because Jesus gives us HIS authority!