Handling Rejection Jesus Style
The Life & Work of Christ • Sermon • Submitted
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The intent of today’s message from GOD is to encourage each of us on how to handle rejection in a manner like Jesus. One thing is for certain, we will all face some type of rejection at some point in our lives. Often we find ourselves responding to rejection in many ways that could be harmful to ourselves, family, friends, and even those who have rejected us. This is definitely not a place we should want to be as a child of GOD. Therefore, it is my prayer that you take serious note of this scene of Jesus’ life and receive it and not reject it, so it may help you “Handling Rejection Jesus’s Style”.
Jesus is in the final 6 months of his time on earth and has been executing a glorious ministry throughout this area. He recognized that the climax of his life and ministry was very close, and that climax would take place in Jerusalem. As I mentioned in a previous sermon, he didn’t spend the majority of his ministry in Jerusalem. But Luke and John inform us that there was a turning point for Jesus, in that he became fully determined to go to Jerusalem. See there are two requisites seen in this passage that demonstrate how we should be before we face rejection.
Application: Typically when we deal with being rejected, it is related to a desire, goal, plan, or intention in relation to a thing, activity, person, etc. This context is clear that Jesus had a divine appointment and purpose, but our topic would have no relevance without Jesus being fixated on GOD’s purpose. Whatever GOD has or is calling you to do or be, be determined! Don’t be lax about GOD’s appointment for you life, whatever it may be. GOD’s will is the source, his purpose is already fixed! The appropriate response from us through trust and faith is to fix our faces toward the goal he’s set before us!
Apparently they had stopped during their journey to Jerusalem. The quickest route from Galilee to Judea (Jerusalem) was through Samaria which was sandwiched between the two. The journeys on foot through these high and low elevations and rugged terrain would tire anyone out! On average, it took 5-6 days to walk from upper Galilee to Jerusalem. Often they would stay at whatever town or village on their way to rest, eat, and sleep. Crossing the border into Samaria, Jesus has some of his disciples to make reservations for his entourage. Gave them all the info and the money, and they went.
Application: In this we see Jesus being proactive in his course. When GOD sets on a course, to accomplish anything to bring him glory, it is important to be proactive or make things ready beforehand. Our GOD is a proactive GOD. Consider creation itself. GOD’s purpose was to create life reflecting himself and wisdom. But before GOD created all living creatures, he made the earth ready before hand!!
Example: If you are pursuing an opportunity, be diligent in researching all that you need to know prior to an interview. Particularly if GOD is channeling your life in that direction which will bring him glory.
But even though Jesus is being proactive, it is not always successful. More so, it is through being proactive that he collides with rejection. Although Samaria was sandwiched between Galilee and Judea, there was high tension between Samaria and Judea. This dates back to the split of the Northern and Southern kingdom of Israel. The Northerners became a mix-breed of Jews and Assyrian/Babylonians. Samaritans were highly despised by Jews for this reason, and Samaria didn’t have light feelings about them. But this rejection is interesting because nearly 2 years prior to this, they were receptive of Jesus after his encounter with the woman at the well. They even accepted him as the Messiah. But note, this rejection doesn’t come because they don’t like Jesus as a person. It comes because he was on his way to a city of people they despised. They don’t like his plans!! Their rival hatred for Judea was stronger than their love and appreciation for the Christ!!!
Application: Just like Jesus, there will be times you are dismissed, turned down, and not on the invite list. Realize that sometimes it’s not you as a person, it’s your plans that people don’t like. They don’t agree with the steps you’re taking. And sometimes it will be because of who you know, or who knows you. People have a plethora of biases that put us right on the path of their rejection.
Now Jesus has a whole band of his disciples. When John and James get wind of what happened, they can’t take it. Hey Jesus, you want us to take care of your light weight. They’re ready to get busy and take vengeance! Let us make a quick phone call to heaven and send fire to burn up the entire village, kids and all.
Application: Consider the common emotional responses to being rejected. There are many of them, but a few of them that stick out from this scripture are anger, shock, and frustration. These are common and aren’t inherently sinful. These especially happen if there were high expectations based on past experiences. But vengeance is GOD’s. This request is like Elijah and so many others who executed vengeance, but those were still divine orders! Notice that for humans, there’s a great chance of arrogance tied to our desires for vengeance. Also, knowing the racial circumstances, this could’ve arose from some harbored feelings in themselves.
But notice how Jesus handles them, and in this demonstrates his response to this rejection. First he tells them “ya’ll trippin”. You don’t even realize the spirit that’s influencing you right now.
Application: When we encounter rejection, we need to stay aware of our spiritual influences. Be careful that emotional impulses don’t lead us to the wrong spirit. You can’t listen to everybody because everybody doesn’t have the Spirit of GOD!! Even within ourselves, we have to check our thoughts with the Holy Spirit.
Then Jesus reminds them of his purpose on earth, and that’s to save, not destroy humans.
Application: We need to remember and remind ourselves of our calling, purpose, and goals. GOD’s purpose for my life is what drives me, and that’s what we need to remain focused on.
My favorite verse in this passage is verse 56. It is a short part of the narrative but yet so powerful for how to handle rejection. They went to another village!!!
Application: Once we’ve worked through those natural emotional responses and avoid impulses that lead to harmful decisions toward ourselves and others. This next one is the most refreshing! Just keep it moving! That means Jesus didn’t dwell on the rejection. He realized that this too is part of his Father’s plan! There’s a popular quote that says “People’s rejection is GOD’s direction”. GOD allows rejection in our lives because it is part of his plan. A scripture that blessed my life years ago is .
How are you handling rejection?