In Matthew 10, Jesus instructed his followers on how to carry out the work of God’s Kingdom in this age. The primary task is to proclaim faithfully and openly the Truth about Christ. Jesus makes three things clear in his instructions. First, his followers have the greatest authority to carry out the task: God’s authority. Second, his followers must expect the greatest difficulty in carrying out the work of God’s Kingdom because we live in a world that is full of hostility toward God and his Truth.
In addition to having the greatest authority and expecting the greatest difficulty, followers of Jesus have the greatest honor. As Jesus represented God, Jesus’ followers represent him. Representing Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Savior of the world, is a marvelous privilege and a responsibility of the highest order.
But what exactly does it mean to represent the Lord Jesus? Is it simply a matter of making a good impression, being good and kind people? If we travel to another country as tourists and we behave in a kind and thoughtful manner then we will probably make a good impression. Hopefully people will say, “Aren’t those Arkansans kind and thoughtful people!” Representing Christ, however, is much more than trying to prove to the world that we’re likeable folks.
If you were called to the White House and appointed by the president to be a diplomat in a foreign country, people would say, “There is an official representative of the leader of the free world, one who speaks on the authority of the President of the U.S.A.” Now that is what representing Christ is like. The Bible tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were making his appeal to the world through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).
So representing Christ is not merely maintaining an attractive moral lifestyle. Representing Christ is knowing and promoting the Lord’s agenda among those who are strangers to him. It is a great task that requires great authority and will meet with great resistance but will end in great victory. The battle is not won, however, until Christ himself returns. Meanwhile, each generation of believers is called to carry on this great Kingdom work of faithfully representing the Master.
May God’s Holy Spirit inspire and empower us to be faithful in our generation,
Brother Richard Foster, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church, Camden, AR