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Jesus was Rejected Too

Jesus experienced public cruelty long before His walk to Calvary. During his passion, Jesus was betrayed, physically and emotionally abused, mocked, and in the end, brutally killed. But his journey of rejection began during infancy. 


Shortly after the visit of the Magi to the manger, Joseph received a dream from the angel of the Lord who told him, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” (Matthew 2:13) 


Even as a sweet and innocent babe, Jesus was not welcome! Herod, a self-centered man, was threatened by the newborn King. Herod assumed the baby was born to take over his kingship. In reality, Jesus was born to rule a different kingdom-the kingdom of God! He was not born to take away from Herod but to bring salvation to the entire world. Herod misunderstood this and sought to destroy Him.  


As an adult, Jesus was loved by many and dismissed by others. There were multiple times when he experienced ridicule, belittlement, dismission, and false accusations or assumptions. 


A Samaritan village refused to host Jesus (Luke 9:53). The Pharisees in Jerusalem ridiculed Jesus on numerous accounts. They tested Jesus and demanded that He show them a sign from heaven (Matthew 16:1). They even accused Him of being the false Messiah by stating that he was driving out demons in the name of Beelzebul, which was a name for a senior demon (Luke 11:14-16).


In Mark’s gospel, Jesus returned to Nazareth, his native place. He began to teach in the synagogue, and the people who heard him questioned his credentials. They asked, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given to him? What mighty deeds are wrought by these hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?” (Mark 6:2-3). They were offended by him and would not let him perform mighty deeds. In Luke’s gospel, they ran Jesus out of town (Luke 4:16-30). They watched him grow up and made assumptions. Not realizing Jesus was the true Son of God, they blew him off. 



Receiving rejection in any form can cut to the core. It goes against our desire to be seen, known, and loved. How can you be fully seen when you receive the cold shoulder? How can you be known when the other person makes false assumptions about you? How can you feel loved when the person only receives you at surface level? 


It can be challenging to forgive and let go of the grudge. However, Jesus calls us to forgive not seven times but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22). 


Dear reader, I challenge you to pray this Lent about the times you have experienced rejection. You are not alone! Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the people you need to forgive. Ask to receive the grace to place that relationship at the foot of the cross. Jesus knows exactly what you experienced and wants to unite your suffering with His suffering on Good Friday.


Until next time, your sister in Christ,


Abby


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