Recently during a birthday dinner, I was discussing Biblical issues with my nephew and two nieces. The oldest is an on-fire Christian at Chico State and the other two live in Menifee. During dinner as we sat together at a separate table and I was giving them tips on how to share their faith. They were listening attentively as I shared my expertise and experiences; I was teaching principles of being a good ambassador for Christ.
As we finished our meal, my nephew asked about an apparent contradiction in Matthew 27:5 where Judas hangs himself and throws the money away. He says the problem occurs in Acts 1:18 where it says Judas died tumbling down a cliff and he bought the field with the money.After dinner I asked my brother-in-law for a Bible and we talked through the apparent contradiction.I said Judas hung himself over a cliff and either the rope broke and he tumbled down or the branch broke.As far as the money was concerned in both cases it was Judas’ money that bought the field. The chief priests called the tossed money blood money and wouldn’t accept it; so they bought a field.This field was below Judas when he hung himself and he fell spilling his guts out on his purchased field.It was a bloody scene and in Acts 1:19 the people of Jerusalem called it a “Field of blood.”I think Luke wrote in a bit of irony here; blood money and field of blood, the place of his death.This was a perfect ending for the betrayer of Jesus.
A party guest to my right, a college professor of sociology, overheard our conversation and said to another relative, everyone knows the Bible is full of contradictions.This professor was around 60 years old, a stocky gentleman, nicely dressed, and possibly had too much to drink.Before that night we had never met.What he said was loud enough so I could hear it, so I turned to him, handed him the Bible and asked him to show me a contradiction. Instead of looking through the Bible he said, “If the Biblical God is all-good and all-powerful, then the existence of evil contradicts the existence of the Biblical God.”Even though he couldn’t show me a Biblical contradiction, we did have a conversation on spiritual issues for over an hour.
I was not only able to answer him but I was able to remain calm, as he at times ranted and raved loudly against God.I was not only an ambassador for Christ for him but for my nephew and nieces who listened to the debate. God provided me a unique opportunity to share what I believe and to mentor young Christians on how to share your faith.
Part 2 I will look at what the Apostle Paul meant when he challenged us in the 2 Corinthians 5:20 to be ambassadors for Christ.