Have you ever felt the rejection of people you thought would welcome you with open arms? Have you ever delivered a message expecting one reaction, only to be met with disdain?
I think sometimes, because Jesus lived a perfect life, we forget that He lived, walked, and experienced the heartache that this world offered. He knew what it was like to be rejected by people He loved and came to save.
In Mark 6, Jesus went to His own hometown, and maybe – like me – you expected a hometown hero’s welcome. I started the chapter with high hopes of seeing Jesus welcomed by people who knew and loved Him and His family. But quickly, the story took a different turn. The passage says that Jesus taught and His community was offended.
Mark 6:5-6 says, “He was not able to do a miracle there, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed because of their unbelief. Then he went around among the villages and taught.”
Jesus, in His own hometown, was unable to do miracles due to His community’s unbelief. Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God, was rejected by the people who watched Him grow as a child. He came to teach, to heal, to perform miracles and He couldn’t because of their unbelief.
Dear sister, the message of the gospel is just as scandalous today as it was when Jesus physically walked this earth. It will be met with rejection. But if the Creator of the world is met with rejection when sharing the Good News that He embodies, we will experience rejection as well.
Scripture tells us,
“If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first.” John 15:18
“He [Jesus] was despised and rejected by people, one who experienced pain and was acquainted with illness; people hid their faces from him; he was despised, and we considered him insignificant.” Isaiah 53:3
Our God, the one we serve, knows all too well the pain of being hated and despised. And He knew that we, too, would experience suffering and rejection because of His name. In His final words to His disciples He promised His presence: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
When this world rejects us because we proclaim the scandalous Good News of redemption, we can take comfort in knowing that our God has known and experienced rejection. He has known the wounds from His own hometown, the wounds of having people yell, “Crucify Him!” God has promised the comfort of His presence, to the end of the age.
God, Immanuel, is with us. And that is the Good News we proclaim. It’s the Good News that changes lives. It’s the Good News that saves.
And so we keep proclaiming. We keep teaching and sharing that scandalous story that both offends and saves, knowing that any rejection we face pales in comparison to the rejection our Jesus faced. We take comfort knowing that He is with us, to the end of the age.
Week 3 Challenge:
If all evil comes from within our own hearts (Mark 7:21–23), how do we combat it? What can you do this week to fill your heart with God’s Word and truth so the overflow of your heart is pleasing to Him?
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