It is one thing to be rejected by
strangers. However rejection by friends, relatives and family members are harder
to take. Jesus had a hard time in Nazareth.
After his first sermon in his own synagogue, the members tried to kill him by
throwing him off the cliff at the edge of the town! Such drastic action in
respond to his sermon. And these will be friends, relatives and the townspeople
who knew Jesus well. They would have watched him grow up. Joseph’s son he would
have been known. And some nasty gossip about his mother being pregnant before
the wedding. I wondered how Jesus would have felt. I am sure it would have hurt
him badly. But his mission would have sustained him. He quoted “Only in his
hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”
(Mark 6:4) This quote showed that Jesus is aware of his role as a prophet.
Even James, his half brother, did not understand
Jesus until after his death and resurrection. James went on to be a leader in
church. Rejection by your own family members! His own brothers, sisters and
even his mother at one time thought that he was mad. In Matthew 12:46, his
family came to take him home.
12:46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood
outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, "Your mother and
brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
Jesus used this as a teaching moment that “whoever
does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matt.
12:50). This statement did not meant that he rejected his family but that he
used his mission to deal with the heartbreak he must have felt.
The betrayal kiss by Judas Iscariot must
have hurt terribly. Judas who was such a trusted member of his disciples that
they even appointed him to be treasurer. Yet, at the moment of this kiss in the
Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus must have known that
his friend had betrayed him to torture, humiliation and death.
Being rejected by our own parents, friends,
relatives and community is very painful. We will be racked by self doubts.
There is also feel a sense of betrayal. Must of all, we would be filled with
agony of our rejection. Sometimes it is preferable to be rejected by strangers
than by those we love. At such times we often feel lost, nursing our pain and
even angry. We despair of ever be understood again. Yet someone does
understand. In another garden, God’s creatures rejected their creator. Many
years later, these same creatures crucified God incarnate. God’s heart must be
broken with pain and sorrow. Yet he still loves us. In the pain of our
rejections, let us cling onto him who will never reject us.
Labels: Bible lands, HolyLand, Jesus Christ, New Testament