I have been thinking lately about how does Jesus view the responsibility of His people in our divided world? Last week, we talked about being an ambassador for Jesus and represent the right side up life in Christ in an upside-down world. Today, let’s further discuss our Kingdom responsibility.
I believe our first responsibility as subjects of our King and under the authority of our Savior Jesus, is to share the gospel, the good news. Christ comes to bring love, liberation, empowerment, and salvation to upside-down people if they are willing to receive it. Christ is the embodiment of the guts of God; he sees oppressed, broken, and lost people as His people. As Kingdom laborers in this world, we must take on this same Christ-centered responsibility. We place our faith in Jesus and have become “His People.”
When we live a smaller rural community in Whatcom County, we often view others, such as urban people (fancy word for city people) or chronically homeless or street people as THOSE PEOPLE. I have family members and dear friends who live in the urban context and it is in front of their faces every day. When I see urban people, who are broken and lost and trapped in an upside down world, I have to ask myself as a Christian, do I see my people? These are Jesus People that he came to save, right?
Some Christians can’t see lost and broken people as their people; they can only see them as part of an opposing army. But this isn’t how we are taught to see people from the Scriptures. The Scriptures teach us that we are all made in the image of God; we are all “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). For the Christian, “my people” cannot be limited; “my people”, I think, includes all people.
We must extend ourselves, as God’s people, to people who are very different from us. This is what led Christ to eat with tax collectors and other sinners. This is what led Christ to sit at the well with the Samaritan woman. He embodied a revolutionary idea of “my people.”
When we surrender ourselves to the love of God, we take responsibility on some level for the harassed and helpless around us. It starts by seeing all people as being made in God’s image as we are made in God’s image. Fueled by this vision and love for others, we are able take responsibility for the brokenness of this world in some way.
We are not truly able to do this in our own power. Christ calls his followers to what seems like impossible actions. Never mind healing the sick and raising the dead: Can we truly end poverty, racism, sexism, abortion, and human trafficking? Can we even put a major dent in these and many other social ills?
Yes, we can. We are empowered by God to fight these battles, to participate in setting the world right-side up again. We don’t have to ask permission from this upside-down world to heal, reconcile, liberate, love, and empower. We are given authority from God to go about this Kingdom-advancing work. May this be a picture of Jesus and grace at Victory Christian Fellowship.