- John 8:21-30
- Jesus, the Father’s Ambassador
An unknown author says: “It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians.”
Jesus in today’s gospel says: “I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me… …I always do what is pleasing to Him,” (v. 28, 29). Through these words Jesus is using the image of an ambassador. That He is the Father’s Ambassador to the world and to us. An ambassador is an authorized representative of a country. He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the one who sent him whose whole duty and responsibility is to interpret the mind of the one sending faithfully to those to whom he is sent. Christ, as Father’s Ambassador, fits in to this image because He proclaims the facts of the gospel and its promises. He urges us, sinners to receive God’s reconciliation and His message of the good news of the Kingdom. The figure of ambassadorship highlights the authority He has and He is faithful too to His commission as the one being sent by the Father.
We Christians are Christ’s ambassadors also or the ones being sent by Him to speak and do on His behalf. We say and do, not for our own consumption, but for the growth of the Kingdom of God here on earth so that God shall be known to all. And I will tell you this true story in order to have a glimpse on what an ambassador is doing and looked-like. I ask you also to reflect on this story in relation to our lives as Christians.
A missionary was seated on a plane next to a well-dressed young man and they soon began conversing. The missionary asked him what he did for a living. He answered, “I’m in big business.” “So am I,” replied the missionary. With that the young man remarked, “I cover the entire U.S. with my business.” “Well,” said the missionary, “I’ve travelled all over the world in connection with mine.” The young man continued: “I’m in partnership with my father. He’s a millionaire.” The missionary smiled and said, “I, too, am in partnership with my Father. He’s a multimillionaire.” The young man said, “We have representatives in most states.” The missionary replied, “We have representatives in almost every country in the world.” By this time the young man looked at the missionary and said, “What sort of business are you in, anyway?” When the missionary explained, the young man said, “Sir, you’re not just in big business. You’re in the biggest!” Yes my dear friends we have a big business to do and to accomplish. And this business is the God’s business of eternal life which is offered to all with His guidance and help.
This is now the public side which is the powerful presence of our faith, because faith is not just a private matter. Well-lived lives are examples good Christians can offer. In the past so many Christians died for their faith. They have paid the final price for their commitments. And not only that, the likes of St. Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Blessed Mother Teresa, they inspired Christian people to risk their lives in order to change people and society. Nowadays, thousands and even millions of Christians quietly share their selfless acts of faith that mark their lives as followers of Christ.
At the end let us reflect these words from Sheldon Van Auken in his book, Severe Mercy. He says, “The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians: when they’re self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration. When they’re narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.”