The Rejects

Posted: July 6, 2015 in TLCC
Tags: , , , ,
Rejections are not easy to take, but guess what? Rejection is a part of the Christian life. We see this in Jesus Christ.

damn-charlie
(Read Luke 4:16-30)

Jesus went to the synagogue, in a similar fashion as we do go to church on Sundays, and proclaimed Isaiah 61:1-2. He was telling the people that the Messiah has finally arrived.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

Simply put it, the Messiah came to earth to (a) bring good news; that is God is extending his mercy towards humankind and is withholding judgment, (b) bind up the brokenhearted; because for years we have been oppressed by the sinful nature of man, (c) liberty to captives; of sin, (d)¬†opening of the prison to those who are bound; because of sin we are bound (destined) to die, hence, bound for death, and (e) proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, which is the arrival of the Savior. However, he intentionally left out the ending part of Isaiah 61:2…

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;

The day of liberation and the day of judgment are two different events. The Jews did not see that. They thought it was one and the same. So they did not understand the Messiah at all! God withholds his judgment and allows us to come to Him. When the day of salvation is over, and the appointed time comes, the day of vengeance is coming. Jesus said that the year of the Lord’s favor is now fulfilled (through Him). The reaction of the crowd was instead, to reject him.

Jesus is rejected by the very people who knew Him. Even His own family does not believe in Him.
Mark 6:1-6 – His sisters were with the crowd who rejected him
John 7:5 – his brothers did not believe him
Luke 4:22-28 – his hometown rejects him

As we look at this narrative, we can ask the question: Can we relate more with Jesus or the people?

We reject Jesus when we choose our own gospel instead of choosing his message of redemption. We reject Jesus when we customized him as a Jesus who is far more tolerant, far more accepting, inoffensive kind of Jesus, who gives without expectations, who is proudly waving a rainbow flag.

We reject him when we don’t stand up for him, when we choose to let time pass by instead of reaching out to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

While we can be rejecting Christ unintentionally, proclaiming the gospel can mean people who are close to us will reject us because of the gospel. Rejection is more painful when it is the people who we love are the ones who rejects us. We should expect rejection. We should expect that people are not warm to the idea that God has made a way already for us to be drawn to God and that one day, the day of judgment is going to happen.

So how do we handle rejection?

God has provided us with the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that lead Jesus is with us today. The Spirit that…

(a) conceived Jesus (Luke 1:35)
(b) descended on Jesus on His baptism (Luke 3:22)
(c) led Jesus into the wilderness (Luke 4:1)
(d) the one who anoints Him to do his mission (Luke 4:17-19)

We are not alone. We may be rejected by the world but the Spirit resides in us. Take comfort in that. We can trust the Holy Spirit to empower us to tell others about the gospel, and at the same time, trust that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. We can follow what is right because the Holy Spirit will enable us to do so.

We may be rejected by the world just as Jesus was, but we can face rejection for He is with us.
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