JESUS ACCEPTED REJECTION
A very often overlooked and interesting attribute of Jesus was His willingness to accept rejection. What does this mean? Jesus did not, as many today would have us to believe, bend over backwards, do everything imaginable, or went out of His way to keep people from rejecting Him, or to keep from offending people.
Rather, scripture teaches that in many ways Jesus accommodated rejection. It was not that Jesus wanted to be rejected. As a matter of fact, Jesus wants everyone to be saved (2 Pt. 3:9). The apostle Paul said that God wants “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
In the proclamation of truth, Jesus was not coercive, pushy, nor did He try to force feed truth. He presented truth very “matter-of-factly.” I am sure that at one time or another you have had high-pressure tactics used on you by a salesman – they did whatever they could to get you to buy their product. Jesus was not like this – and He had the best product in the universe to offer people! Again, Jesus presented the truth very “matter-of-factly,” and yet, in a very loving way. But it was up to the recipient to respond in a positive way and accept the Lord’s will – but most rejected our Lord. When this happened, our Lord didn’t run after them pleading and begging them to reconsider. He did not say what can I do to make My message more pleasing to you. No, He accepted rejection.
In Matthew 13, there is an interesting question posed by Jesus’ disciples, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables” (Mt. 13:10)? This was a great question, and we might expect the answer to be, “to make truth more vivid and easier to understand.” I guess there would be some truth to this, but this was not the answer Jesus gave. Our Lord responded to their question saying, “Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them” (Mt. 13:13-15).
Jesus is saying that He taught in parables because some people are not really receptive to the truth. Isn’t this a fascinating teaching method of our Lord? Rather than trying to water down truth, or teaching truth in the very simplest form, He made some teaching just difficult enough that those who did not want to understand would not. On the other hand, those who were sincerely desirous of truth would spend the extra effort and energy to investigate, and they would be able to understand.
Another example of Jesus accepting rejection is seen in John 6. In the first part of John 6, Jesus is seen miraculously feeding a great multitude, and then headed by boat to Capernaum. “When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus” (Jn. 6:24). The people were seeking for Jesus. But why were they seeking Him? What was their motivation?
The people said they had been seeking Jesus, and wondered when He had arrived (John 6:25). Notice our Lord’s response, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled” (Jn. 6:26). Jesus very plainly states their motivation behind seeking Him – they wanted another free meal. Many today would think that Jesus would gloss over such so that He might retain a large number of followers, but this was not the Jesus of the Bible. In the next verses of our context, Jesus was very direct, and went right to the heart of matter. He confronted their error in a very straightforward manner. As a result, many “walked no more with him” (John 6:66). Jesus stood by the truth and made no apologies for the truth. Our Lord accepted rejection. And, friends, we’ll have to do the same.
Think About It!
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