What is an ambassador? Dictionary.com defines ambassador as a diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative’. Using that definition, we are citizens of heaven placed here on earth to represent Heaven and our King, Jesus Christ. If we represent someone, we should strive to imitate that person and to show those around us what that person is like. We also represent the country we are from and we want to paint a beautiful word picture of what life is like in our home country. We certainly want to issue everyone an invitation to come and be with us in our country. There are four words in this definition that caught my eye. Those four words are “of the highest rank”. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for us to say that we can’t or that we don’t have the authority to do this or that. What we are is what they will think our leader and our country is like. Does our lifestyle make people want to know more about Jesus and an eternity in heaven or does it leave them thinking something else?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Jesus knew Peter’s weakness, just as He knows each of ours. He knew that Peter would deny Him even though Peter was so sure that He would not. It is easy to criticize Peter. But we seem to forget that the other disciples left as well. How many times have we failed Jesus? 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’–Matt. 25:42-43, NIV
But the great thing is that He always forgives us when we fail, just as He forgave Peter. When the women went to the tomb where Jesus had been, the angel sitting there told them this: 6 but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.”–Mark 16:6,7 (NLT) Jesus made sure that Peter was specifically included in the invitation. Jesus will always be waiting with open arms to receive us no matter how many times we fail.
7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” — Mark 16:7 NKJV
Peter had boasted to Jesus that he would never deny Him. He was adamant that he would stand by Jesus no matter the situation or the cost.
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. — Matt. 26:35 NIV (Emphasis mine)
We sometimes overlook the fact that they all ran away that night in the garden. Where the others went, we aren’t told, but John was with Jesus and Peter followed at a distance. We. like Peter, often think that we are stronger in our faith than we really are. If we tell Jesus we will do this or that, He will most often give us the opportunity to do exactly that. And, if we try to accomplish whatever “that” is in our own power, we, too, will fail. Peter denied Chirst with his actions and his words. Most of the time, we deny Chirst with our inaction and lack of words. Whether we deny Him passively or actively, it is still denial. When I fail to speak to someone about their eternal destiny when the Holy Spirit urges me to do so, I have denied Jesus. And when the Spirit brings conviction, my heart is broken and I repent with remorse and bitter tears. But the conviction is not punishment or isolation from God, it is discipline and an invitation to come back to God. When those times come that I fail to speak out and I feel like Peter must have felt that night, I read this verse and put my name there instead of Peter’s. I make it personal and read it ; “go tell His people –and Wally– that He is still going before us and we will see Him”. Then I know that I am forgiven and Jesus wants to hold me and comfort me. My tears of remorse become tears of joy! My sadness becomes praise to the One who will never exclude me. Such wonderful, glorious, amazing grace and love encourages me to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”. I am still on the team, Jesus has chosen me and I want to shout “Me, too!” He has chosen “Me, too”!