He was despised and rejected of men.
After several hours of stirring up my courage to ask a girl out, getting a “No thanks.” Being told I couldn’t visit my friends, because the local authorities said it was “too dangerous.” Being fired from a position I consider myself rather adept at. It hurts to be rejected.
When we are rejected and despised, it’s a reflex to justify ourselves and proclaim the injustice of our persecutors. This response is often right and good, and it’s the basis of a societal system of justice. However, we would do well to consider that when Jesus was despised and rejected, he didn’t say a word in his own defense. He didn’t appeal to the system of justice. He knew the danger, the pain and the death that he was walking into was orchestrated by his Father, for his Father’s glory, joy and the saving of a wayward people.
In the USA, personal/individual rights are just about the most sacred cow we have. Because of this, it’s hard for us to deal with Jesus not speaking up for himself. Why would he do that? Why not appeal to justice for his personal rights?
And they led him away to their council, and they said, ‘If you are the Christ, tell us.’ But he said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer me. But from now on, the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’
So they all said, ‘Are you the Son of God, then?’ And he said to them, ‘You say that I am.’ Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.’
I want to suggest two things that will be powerful help for Christians as we face rejection from men.
- Jesus knew where he was going. Jesus clearly had God’s plan of redemption, and the glory and joy after it in his mind as he approached his death.
We must keep God’s plan of redemption and the joy of knowing him in our minds as we suffer rejection. We must remind each other of this joyful plan!
- Jesus knew that he was God’s son. He didn’t forget his father’s character.
I imagine that the voice at the Jordan, “You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased” was ringing in Jesus’s ears as he went to die. Because of Christ, we too receive an inheritance as sons in God’s kingdom. He will not fail those who trust in him.
Christ was rejected, and if we follow him, rejection will follow. These things must happen, but when they do happen, may these words ring in our ears,
“Fear not, little flock, for it is your father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
~Jim Randall www.burmachronicle.com