3. (a) How did Jesus view the politics of his day? (b) Why can it be said that Jesus’ anointed followers serve as ambassadors? (Include footnote.)
3 Instead of participating in the politics of his day, Jesus focused on preaching about God’s Kingdom, the future heavenly government of which he was the prospective King. (Daniel 7:13, 14; Luke 4:43; 17:20, 21) Thus, when before Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, Jesus could say: “My Kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36) His faithful followers imitate his example by giving their loyalty to Christ and his Kingdom and by announcing that Kingdom to the world. (Matthew 24:14) “We are ambassadors substituting for Christ,” wrote the apostle Paul. “As substitutes for Christ, we beg: ‘Become reconciled to God.’”*—2 Corinthians 5:20.
4. How have all true Christians demonstrated loyalty to God’s Kingdom? (See the box “Early Christian Neutrals.”)
4 Because ambassadors represent a foreign sovereign or state, they do not interfere in the internal affairs of the countries where they serve; they remain neutral. Ambassadors do, however, advocate the government of the country they represent. The same is true of Christ’s anointed followers, whose “citizenship exists in the heavens.” (Philippians 3:20) In fact, thanks to their zealous Kingdom preaching, they have helped millions of Christ’s “other sheep” to “become reconciled to God.” (John 10:16; Matthew 25:31-40) These latter ones serve as Christ’s envoys, as it were, in support of Jesus’ anointed brothers. As one united flock advocating the Messianic Kingdom, both groups maintain strict neutrality toward the world’s political affairs.—Read Isaiah 2:2-4.