Summary: In our scripture today, God calls us Christ’s ambassadors. What exactly does that mean? An ambassador is someone who represents the interests of their homeland in a foreign country. Spiritually speaking, we are to represent Jesus and invite others
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us are here today because of someone else. Maybe you were invited by someone or maybe you grew up in this church and you’re here because of your family. Even those of you who came here on your own, more than likely stuck around because you connected with someone in the church. The truth is many of us, if not all, are here today and involved in the life of the church because of someone else. That’s because people bring people to Jesus. Can you say that with me? People bring people to Jesus. The church can have incredible programs, a wonderful facility and a great ministries but these things aren’t going to bring people to Jesus because people bring people to Jesus. This is at the core of who we are as the Church and is foundational to our identity as the people of God.
In our scripture today, God calls us Christ’s ambassadors. What exactly does that mean? An ambassador is someone who represents the interests of their homeland in a foreign country. Spiritually speaking, we are to represent Jesus Christ and His Kingdom here on earth to advance his purposes. What is His interest or purpose? Our Scripture today says it is a ministry of reconciliation. In other words, like Jesus, we are to reconnect people to Jesus who are far from God. God is calling everyone back to himself and expects us to deliver the invitation. And you just thought you were a stay-at-home mom or had a boring 9 to 5 job! We’ve been called and empowered to announce to the world the Good News that Jesus is Lord and invite people back into a relationship with their Creator and Redeemer. Now that’s a reason to get out of bed in the morning!
This is who we are and what we are to be about. Jesus called us a city on a hill and the light of the world. We exist to bring those who are far from God back to Jesus. I’ve heard it said the church is the only organization whose sole purpose of existence is for its non-members. Basically, we gather for the sake of those who aren’t here yet. But it seems the Church is having a bit of an identity crisis. In a study by Lifeway Research, only 2% of people who regularly attend church actually invite someone outside of the church to come and check it out in a given year. That means 98% of churchgoers don’t extend a single invitation all year. 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church in the entire lives. Here’s the really sad part, 82% of the people outside of the church are at least somewhat likely to attend if someone were to actually invite them. We’ve been calling this series, CSI Church, but for this weekend I feel like we should call it Stuff the Church Doesn’t Do. It seems that we have hidden our light under a bowl and this city on the hill isn’t shining as brightly as it should be.
Today, we’re going to spend the rest of our time together looking at Andrew, one of the 12 disciples, and how he was an ambassador for Christ. Andrew only appears a few times in the Gospels but every time he is personally bringing someone to Jesus. The first time he encounters Jesus, he immediately goes and gets his brother Simon, who would later be known as Peter and brings him to Jesus. Andrew is the one who finds the little boy at the feeding of the 5,000. He also brings a group of spiritually curious Greeks to meet Jesus during the Passover in John chapter 12. So what we can learn from Andrew?
First is maintaining a sense of awe and wonder about Jesus. In John 6, Jesus and the disciples are surrounded by a crowd of 5000 people. Back then, men were the only ones they counted. So if you include all of the women and children, there could have easily been around 15,000 people. They were more than likely on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast and have come from all over to see and hear Jesus. It was dinner time and the disciples couldn’t imagine how they could possibly feed them. They all thought that the best thing to do would be to send the people on their way and let them find some food on their own, everyone except Andrew. Andrew found a boy who had five small loaves of bread and two small fish, and brought him to Jesus. Can you imagine what the other disciples were thinking? What kind of idiot thinks that Jesus is going to be able to feed 15,000 hungry people with a little kid’s fish sandwich? The answer is, the kind of idiot who hasn’t lost his awe and wonder about Jesus and what He can do.