Monday 29 October 2012

Bible Book:

"If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me." (vv. 20-21)

John 15:17-27 Monday 29 October 2012


These words from John's Gospel are anaccount of Jesus' final conversation with his disciples before hiscrucifixion. As you read them, let them sink in. They are trulyterrifying. Jesus warns his disciples that they will forever bearthe stigma of having been associated with him. People will look atthem and see Jesus ... but not Jesus the object of reverence anddevotion, nor Jesus the engaging preacher; rather, Jesus theupstart country bumpkin who got above himself, affronted theofficial representatives of the nation, and ended up hanging inagony on a cross while the crowd looked on jeering.

As people look at disciples of Jesus(whether in the ancient or the modern world) they will see in themthe image of Jesus himself, who Paul later described as "the imageof the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Whether we like it or not, wepresent to the world the image of Jesus, whom the world, as aresult, may revere, despise or detest. No matter how carefully wecraft our own 'public image', as Christians we are ambassadors forChrist, not self-publicists. We bear the image of God reflected inJesus.

But it's not even as simple as that. Wehave to live with the fact that other Christians, in all sincerity,sometimes present to the world an image of Christ that makes usfeel very uneasy. No doubt some of them might feel equally uneasywith the image of Christ we present. Being true to ourselves, beingtrue to Christ and being a faithful member of his Church cansometimes leave us feeling very uncomfortable indeed.

To Ponder

  • What image of Jesus do you try to present in your dailywitness?
  • Have you ever experienced hostility as a result? In your hearthow do you deal with the effects of such hostility?
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