Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. –Acts 11:25, 26 (KJV)
I recall when I was a young boy that a TV show hit the airwaves and was for a time hugely popular. The program was called “The Monkeys” and featured a four-member singing group and a lot of silliness involving various adventures the group faced. Interestingly enough, several of those songs that the Monkeys sang can still be heard on a few radio stations even today. The Monkeys wore a style that was a combination of late 60’s early 70’s and I distinctly remember the hats they wore which had a certain British look about them. My older brother told me how that on one occasion he a friend went to a store in search of these hats. My brother’s friend, after trying one on, pronounced that the hat “made him look like a cowboy.” This was not the desired look at all. Had he worn that hat he would no doubt have suffer ridicule from at least a few people.
The Bible says that the first followers of Christ were so seeking to be like Jesus that unbelievers gave them what was actually considered a derogatory name. The term “Christian” was first used as a kind of insult. The word implies someone who was trying to be a “little Christ,” or just like Jesus. When the early believers took upon themselves the attitudes, love, mercy, grace, and joy of Christ they were roundly criticized, rebuked, and in many instances persecuted. That has not changed even today. When we begin to get serious about being like Jesus and letting His love shine from us, we too will be criticized, made fun of, and maybe persecuted.
Regardless of what we might face, we are called to take upon ourselves the humility and mind of Jesus Christ. As His followers we are to be like Him in every way. No matter what the world may think, we are to continue being like Jesus that His light may be a witness of the grace we have been shown through Him. Let us not forsake this divine calling for fear of someone making fun of us or hating us. As Jesus warned, they hated Him, and there are those who will hate us as well (John 15:17-19). Do not be afraid of being like Jesus, for this is our high call of God in Christ.
Walk forward today in bold faith that shines the light of Jesus Christ to a lost and troubled world. Hope, joy, peace, and life eternal are found in Jesus.