Ambassadors, Part 4
3 - Ambassadors can be hated
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that a person who has been given a message to proclaim from another ruler, power, or nation (a person who is a citizen of that other country) would not be liked, or could be suspected of not having the best interest of our country in mind. Certainly, we can see this being lived out in our world today in the country of Iraq. American soldiers who have put their lives on the line for the removal of repression, the freedom to vote, and the freeing those imprisoned because of their ideologies are being screamed at, blown up, mocked, and reviled by citizens who until the soldiers appeared on the scene would not have been able to even voice disagreement with the principles of the one who used to rule over them. Even though the message these soldiers share is a positive message of hope and self-governance, the messenger stands for a different power, a different world, a different nation, and so becomes a target of hatred.
As ambassadors for God’s kingdom we are no different. In John 15:18,19, Jesus says,”When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.” We pay the price for our citizenship in a heavenly kingdom. As you share the message of hope and reconciliation, the world sees someone who is not a part of their kingdom trying to bring about its downfall, not with weapons of flesh and blood but with weapons from a spiritual realm. Jesus told a parable about a landowner who leased his vineyard to tenants and moved to another country. After some time he sent servants to collect his rightful share but they were beaten, stoned, or killed. He eventually even sent his son, but the logic of the tenants was that if they killed the heir the vineyard would be theirs. They would be able to continue to do what they wanted. They hated the servants and even the son, not because they knew them but because of what they represented.
Be ready because even if you come with a message of love from the creator of the universe, Jesus has warned you that you will be despised, you will be hated, and you may suffer for his sake. “Remember it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong. (1 Peter 3:17)”
You are an ambassador. As His representative, share His message no matter what the cost. Be His ambassador!