Rejected at Home

Rejection happens to all of us. Sometimes people disdain us for reasons over which we have no control – our sex, race, class, intelligence, nationality. Others don’t like us because of what we do. They find our behavior offensive. Usually, they have some basis for their disfavor, though we don’t want to admit that harsh fact. Rejection hurts. We all crave attention, affection, and approval, and cringe when these are withheld from us. We feel the most severe pain when people we love despise us. Worst of all, of course, is to be disliked, or even simply misunderstood, by our own family. Jesus had to endure that kind of suffering, too. Matthew had earlier recorded how Jesus’ mother and brothers sought to distract Him from teaching the crowds (12:46-47). Not only the Jewish leaders, to whom He posed a threat, but now His own family, friends, and neighbors could not accept Him. In short, they didn’t believe in Him (John 7:5). In one sense Jesus differed from us, of course. No one in Nazareth faulted his behavior, and certainly not his origin! They objected to His prophetic ministry and status. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Jesus had to face rejection of the most precious fact of His existence- His unique relationship with God and His mission as a man. Thus, when we have to listen to critical words, or see frowning faces, we can take immense comfort from the truth that Jesus knows.