Focal passage: Luke 4:16-30
I once knew a woman who was in desperate need of help. She was a single mother with two children, little-to-no income and no place to stay. She and her two kids hopped from house to house, staying with friends or relatives until someone else would take them in.
A local church heard of her situation and offered assistance. They found her a job and an affordable place to live. They even formed a support group to help with childcare and other needs. Months later, the woman sadly decided to reject their help and turn back to her old life. The church was grieved by her decision, but they couldn’t change her mind.
The point of the story isn’t to cast judgement. Rather, it’s to demonstrate that no matter how hard you try to help someone or share the gospel with them, rejection is always a possibility. It happened to Jesus and it can happen to us too.
When Jesus returned to His hometown of Nazareth, He was initially welcomed. As soon as Herevealed His divine authority, things went awry. The same people who were first “amazed” by Jesus were now “furious” with Him. They even tried to murder Him! These people likely included his former neighbors and friends. In response, Jesus declared, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown” (v. 24).
Rejection is hard, especially when it comes from those we are closest to. Yet, as ambassadors of the gospel, we are prone to rejection. In fact, we must expect it.
Jesus taught the simple truth that no servant is greater than their master (John 13:16). In other words, if people rejected Him, why should we expect any different?
While rejection is never easy, we can still have hope. Frist, because it’s not about us. Jesus says, “Whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Secondly, because in spite of all the noes, some will say yes! Even Paul expressed hope that he may win some even if he couldn’t win all (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Don’t fret over the rejection of some. Instead, trust God and be careful not to reject the work He wants to do in your own life.