Facing Rejection

By Royce Frederick

The Son of God was rejected by the people where he grew up, in His own hometown. How did He react?

“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up...all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way” (Lk. 4:16, 28-30).

“Then He...came to His own country...And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?’ And they were offended at Him...Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching” (Mk. 6:1-6).

Jesus did not avoid trying to teach people He had known a long time, even if His teaching could offend them. With kindness and patience, we should try our best to share the gospel with those we love the most.

Jesus had the power to force people to keep listening, but did not use it. We cannot force anyone to love God and His Son. God wants each person to choose to love Him because He first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19; Rev. 3:20).

Jesus did not let the unbelief of some people prevent Him from helping others in that same town. We should not classify all people in any group as unreachable, simply because some in that group reject the gospel.

Jesus did not let rejection turn Him away from His mission “...to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). He went to other places and taught the people there. Somewhere, there are lost souls who will listen and obey. We must keep looking for them.

After Jesus arose from death, the attitudes of many people changed. When people reject our first attempt to teach them, we should not view that as their permanent attitude. Their words of rejection may echo in our mind, while our words of truth spoken in love may echo in theirs. We should continue being kind to them and be ready to teach them more.

Jesus “...suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Pet. 2:21). Follow His example and keep teaching!