Summary: If the lost of this community are ever going to see Jesus for themselves, they must first see Him in us.
Our Messiah Must Be Made Known
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 16-20
There is an interesting term in that passage: Ambassador. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, Paul says. What is an ambassador?
An ambassador is a messenger; someone sent by his or her sovereign to deliver a message or to communicate a request or thought or treaty. We certainly have been called to be messengers of our King, haven’t we? The last words Jesus has to say to His people as He leaves the earth can be summed up: “Go and tell them about me.” We are messengers.
An ambassador is a spokesperson; someone who advocates and champions the agenda, the convictions, the truths and the causes of his or her sovereign. We too are representatives, here today representing the light and the life and the truth of our God and King. We champion his cause, his agenda to bring people into a life-changing, soul-changing relationship with Him. This ambassador or spokesperson speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the ruler whose deputy he is, and his whole duty and responsibility is to interpret that ruler’s mind faithfully to those to whom he is sent.
An ambassador is also a representative, someone who represents the identity, the nature and the lifestyle of his or her homeland. This world isn’t our home; In giving our lives over to Christ, we’ve become citizens of Heaven. We also are to represent and characterize the identity and nature of our King, being living, walking, talking representatives of who He is, and what He is like.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us… And he is. God is making his appeal through us. We are the aroma of His son’s love; we are the light of His son’s power; we are the salt of His son’s truth. We are the primary way God broadcasts his love. The apostle Paul earlier in his second letter to the Corinthian church tells them that we are ‘reflections of Christ.’ Christ shines in our lives and reflects out of our hearts into the lives of others. We are to be messengers, spokespeople and representatives of Jesus Christ himself. If people are going to see Jesus Christ for themselves, they must first see Him in us and through us.
[prayer and worship]
When I was young, I was short, not like I am now. My mother tells the story that when I was in 1st or 2nd grade she was walking up the sidewalk of the elementary I was attending with my brother Brook. Brook is five years younger than me, but we as children we shared very similar appearances. Now I know this is going to be a stretch for you to believe, but I had blonde hair, very blonde hair, and was very small and thin. Brook looked very similar, but the similarities also included our mannerisms, our habits, our energy level… etc. As my mother and brother were walking up that sidewalk, my teacher walked right past them and greeted them. “Hi Mrs. Meador, Hi Kyle.” Then she stopped right in her tracks. “Wait a minute, I thought I left Kyle in the classroom…” It took her a minute or two to realize that the look-a-like wasn’t Kyle at all. She had mistaken my five-years younger brother for me.
Such things can happen when you look like someone else in appearance, in attitude, in actions…
Our goal is to introduce people to Jesus. We want everyone who doesn’t know him to fall in love with Him, to discover the hope, the joy, the power He can bring into their lives. As we read earlier, our call is to be ambassadors of Christ.
People today must see Jesus. What happens when they see him? Look at two passages that we almost always just blaze right through in our readings:
“Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.” John 6: 1-2