Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Matthew 10:40-42 "Ambassadors for Christ"

Read Matthew 10:40-42.

"He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me." NIV
This passage had me thrown for a loop. I could understand verse 40 and 42, but throwing 41 into the mix confused me. Even looking at the passage as a whole invokes different takes from different commentators.

So here is what I see overall being said. Jesus has just told the disciples that He is throwing them to the wolves and to basically expect the worst. But to send them off, in this passage Jesus encourages them that there will be help and those who help them will be rewarded. The reverse of that is that those who don't help them -- such as all those that rejected them, will not be rewarded for they have rejected Christ.

My take away from this passage is two-fold:
  • I must take care of Christ's disciples because by doing so I am taking care of Christ.
  • When others reject my message of the gospel, they are not rejecting me, but the One who sent me.
First of all, by receiving Christ's ambassadors, I am receiving Him. I have an opportunity to minister to Christ Himself by caring for His ministers. What a privilege that is and a responsibility. Christ has chosen us as His own, and His Spirit lives within us. Therefore, a disciple of Christ, which each of us should be, should be cared for by other disciples and those that recognize the Spirit of Christ within us.

Secondly, as a believer, I am to be completely sold out as a servant of Christ. It is not about me anymore, but about Him. I don't strive to be in the limelight, but to headline Christ so that others will be drawn to Him. My surrender to His ways makes me a walking ambassador for Christ. Therefore, those who receive me receive Him. So the contrary must be true, that those who reject me are rejecting Him who sent me. It's not about me, it's about Him who sent me, and my ego should not be wrapped up in the acceptance or rejection for neither of them are about me. I am merely a conduit of His love and gifts.

Lord, guide me to care with love for those who are Your disciples. Help me to love with Your love. And use me Lord as Your disciple, Your ambassador, to reach a hurting world. Help me to show them the way to You.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Are you afraid to go out as Christ's disciple? Fear is not of God. That would be the enemy's device to stop you from sharing Christ's love with others. Take some time today to search the Scriptures for passages on fear and ask the Lord to remove that from you.
  2. As disciples, what are we to do when our message is not accepted? Read Matthew 10:14, 19-20.
  3. If you struggle with rejection as a disciple of Christ, you may be dealing with a surrender issue. It's really not about you, but about the One who sent you. Research Scripture on surrender and read associated posts. (See labels below for "surrender.") Ask the Lord to empty you of your ego and fill you more with Him. He's really what your life is all about, and you cannot do it without Him.

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