Christian Biblical Perspective: Handle it Jesus Way (Luke 09:51-56)
There is no better day to talk about rejection than on Easter weekend- an acknowledgment of a time in history when the Son of God, the Savior of the world, was rejected. The people of His days preferred a notorious sinner that was dangerous to the community to get freedom and desired that the sinless JESUS should be condemned to death. He was humiliated and crucified. What an irony of life! If you are experiencing rejection in your life right now, be it rejection from someone you love and care about (spouses, children, parents, friends …) or sabotaged through workplace politics by colleagues or supervisors or not given a job you are qualified for or denied a position that you ought to occupy, the list continues … I want you to know that what you are going through is not unusual or atypical. You are not alone!
It is a matter of “WHEN.” Some of us will experience one form of rejection or the other on this side of the planet. It happened to our Lord Jesus and the saints of old. As I was doing my morning devotion today, this amazing piece of today’s “One Year Bible” reading got hold of me and I decided to share it with you on this special day, Good Friday, when the story of Jesus' sacrifice of sin is being acknowledged that it actually happened and told globally. I pray that the Lord will minister to you through this piece. Prayerfully reflect on the content and allow God to speak to you on how to apply it to your situation. I commit you to the hand of the best and greatest Teacher: The Holy Spirit. Shalom!
Vs. 51-53- Son of God rejected: WHY?
The people just didn’t want Him. No apparent reason. Remember, this is a
sinless God in man’s body. That happens. You don’t need to do anything wrong before some people pick on you or hate your gut. Very sad, but, unfortunately, such do happen- where some set of people just gang up against you, hate you, and gets angry whenever they set their eyes on you especially if your presence is challenging something in them and they are not ready to give it up or when they feel jealous of your good life or you being in a position of having what they wish they have. It can be anything- beautiful look, career or business success, happy marriage, successful parenting . . . Name it.
Vs. 54- Disciples Reaction to Jesus Rejection- Rejection Hurts!
Let’s start with how the human brain works. Neuroscience reveals that the part of the brain that is activated when we are experiencing physical pain is the same region that gets activated when we experience rejection (an emotional pain). This emotional pain of rejection triggered the disciples’ response, although how they wanted to handle the rejection was not the right way. However, let’s not be quick to judge them. So, just as you will not overlook physical pain when you are experiencing it, you suppose not to ignore the pain of rejection. Rather, acknowledge it, process it healthily, and move on.
Disciples desired destruction of the opposition: “operation command fire to consume the opposition/enemy.” As this may sound good sometimes when things don’t go as we have planned, the response of Jesus in the later verses reveals to us that this is not the right way to go. Beloved, I know that rejection is painful. I have experienced rejection too, not once, not twice and I can say, it is not fun. It is emotionally draining and overwhelming but we can get through to the end of the tunnel quicker if we take Jesus' path because following the footstep of our Lord Jesus will help us to handle life situations correctly. When we are being tempted to act in the flesh, we need to catch ourselves through the word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit on the inside of us as Christians. We should ask God for strength and ask our TRUSTED Christian friends and leaders to intercede for us. You see me shouting, “TRUSTED.” Yes! You don’t want to tell your struggles to people that will complicate it or see it as another news to gossip about because that will hurt you more.
Be aware of the temptation of hurting yourself the more when you are rejected. Instead of inflicting more pain on yourself by engaging in actions that will bring your sense of self-esteem lower, engage in developing mental toughness. What do I mean by that? I imply offering resistance to those negative thoughts and ideas that may bombard your mind after experiencing rejection. Consciously become resilient, boost your confidence by reminding yourself of who you are in Christ. Ensure you maintain a positive mindset that will lead you into taking the right actions to handle the rejection.
Vs. 55- Jesus Response to Disciples Thoughts / Ideas
Jesus rebuked them: WHY?
Disciples’ suggestion negates His divine purpose to SAVE LIVES (vs 56). Most of the time, we are prone to reign fire and brine stone on those that hate us or hurting us for no apparent reason, partly because we have stayed too long in that hostile plane, we have exhausted our patience, we are now bitter and frustrated. We want God to show up and teach such cruel people a lesson. We prayed, fasted, confessed positively and it seems nothing is changing. In our state of helplessness and frustration, we just want God to act now because we can’t take it anymore. We can’t we just want God to act now because we can’t take it anymore. We can’t stand another maltreatment. When we realized that our “Holy Ghost Fire consume my enemy wherever they gather” didn’t work, we get angry with GOD and wonder why the enemy seems to be waxing stronger in their wickedness and God is not doing anything about it. Uhm! Maybe how we are approaching the situation is wrong. Let’s see how Jesus handled such a situation.
Vs. 56- Jesus Reaction to Rejection
How did Jesus, our Lord and ultimate Example handled this rejection at such a time He went to another place/village. It takes mental toughness, healthy self esteem and confidence in your real worth to act this way. HE didn’t waste His time where he was not wanted. I think Jesus understands that when the value of someone is not known, abuse is inevitable. So, our master did not even waste a minute in trying to convince that village people or engage in futile argument. I He blocked the distraction that rejection may want to cause in His pursuit of destiny. If I may ask, where is that village of rejection for you: workplace, abusive marriage, oppressive church…? Name it. Jesus doesn’t want you to die in a hostile/wrong environment. You are not to stay in a state of rejection and mourn forever. You can’t thrive in such a hostile environment. You can hardly fulfill your purpose in such an environment. Unless you hear the Lord tells you to STAY, it may be time to begin to plan your exit. It may be time to punch your fears in the face. Your time may be up there! However, don’t act on assumption, seek God to know His mind so as to experience a HIT, and not a MISS! At times, the Lord wants to bring beauty out of that ashes called rejection. Remember, there was a divine agenda in the Lord’s rejection here. Verse 51 revealed that Jesus wanted to go to Jerusalem, not to Samaria (verse 52), so, fulfilment of divine purpose triggered that rejection so to say (verse 53). If you are going through rejection, it is time to begin to ask the Lord, what next or where next?
Life is so short. I guess our Lord Jesus lived in the consciousness of how brief our lives on earth are and a sense of purpose. Sometimes, believers in Christ are just praying about situations without taking any action. I have been a people helper and Christian leader for over twenty-five years and have seen several cases that required action when God’s people are just praying to God to come and do what God expects them to do. It is so painful to see how church people who have been blinded and bounded with religion suffer for years because of ignorance. Remember how the children of Israel stayed in captivity for extra thirty years. Oh no! That is a lot of EXTRA time in a painful situation. You don’t want to stay a second longer in an awful life situation but unfortunately, ignorance can extend our wilderness experience, even, as God’s children.
Some of us might be overstaying where we ought to have said bye years ago. Now, you may be running out of time or running late in fulfilling all that the Lord created you to become or fulfill. Generations are waiting for you to give you an awesome welcome with an open hand in the next village of acceptance, so, lift your head, arise, shake up the dust, stop crying and fighting seemingly endless battles, get ready, pick up your luggage and go to the next village where you will fulfill your God-given destiny in the next phase of life God is launching you into. Some of us overstay in the land of frustration because of the fear of the unknown or temporary discomfort we might experience due to transition or some “so-called present privileges” we might lose. You know what? You don’t know the blessings waiting for you in the next village until you get there. If the Lord is not saying STAY, it’s time to move
Come to think of it, that glory that was locked up in this place of rejection is put in you by your Maker for a divine purpose. It needs to find expression. Your excuse will not be a good reason for not fulfilling God’s purpose. It’s time to act as the Lord guides you. Some of you are not taking the step of faith that is required to enter into your happier and more fulfilled life. Do you remember the story of Moses? Until he moved as commanded and stepped on the red sea, that sea did not part. Men and women of God of old acted by faith first based on divine leading, then, they saw mighty works of God. Pages of Scripture is full of the saints of old that dared the devil and achieved awesome result documented in all-time Holy Book: The Bible.
Arise and begin to shine as you occupy your next territory. Do not die in the village of rejection. Cheer up- your morning of joy comes is coming.
Shalom. God bless you.
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