“For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison”.
Eph 6:20 GNB
People regard the preacher today as a somewhat privileged person. There is a status attached to the position which, in the eyes of many, gives the holder of the office respect and even importance. In small towns and villages the local minister or pastor is ranked alongside the school principal, the mayor and the doctor as a leader in the community.
That was not how Jesus had envisaged it. He called his disciples by inviting them to take up the cross. In other words he warned them to be ready to suffer, and even to die, for the mission for which he was preparing them and on which he would eventually send them. Once they had seen him crucified they would know exactly what they were being called to. But Paul had come along and he had gone out as if he had been one of the original twelve. He had become an ambassador for his King – Jesus. He had spoken on his king’s behalf in synagogues, in city streets, in towns and villages. He had been imprisoned before and had spoken in front of mobs and before kings. Now he was in Rome, shackled by a leg-iron to a Roman soldier. What is more he was facing possible death when his trial came up before the Emperor. But still he was a preacher. And his leg-iron was the credential this ambassador brought. For where he was and what he stood for was a sermon in itself. He was carrying his cross – right to the heart of the Empire.
Be ready to carry yours too. In home, at work and in society. Be an ambassador for Jesus.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, let me carry the cross you give me.