Friday, April 3, 2015

He Was Despised And Rejected

He rode into Jerusalem to throngs of people welcoming Him with open arms.  Unfortunately, there were many who were not quite so welcoming.  There were those who just did not like Him at all.  Jesus, wasn't oblivious to this fact, and it didn't prevent Him from coming to town.  As a matter of fact, one of the reasons He came to town was to offer these who had consistently rejected Him another chance.  Over the course of the next couple of days, Jesus would confront these who rejected Him.  He wasn't there to pick a fight or to stand on a soapbox.  He didn't come to argue or debate.  He didn't come to Jerusalem to condemn them.  He came to reach out to them.  He came to plead with them.  He came to warn them. He desperately wanted to awaken them.  He wanted to open their blind eyes to the truth.

The Pharisees and Sadducees didn't want any part of it though.  They didn't want Him up in their business.  They didn't want Him meddling in their lives.  They liked things just the way they were and viewed Him as a threat to their way of life.  They didn't want to hear what He had to say.  They just wanted Him to shut-up!  So, since He refused to appease their desire for non-confrontation, they determined to take matters into their own hands.  If He wouldn't keep His mouth shut, they would shut it for Him.

Jesus was despised and rejected because He loved enough to speak the truth.  He was rejected because loving humanity was worth that risk.  Jesus risked rejection by choosing to truly love. He could have been comfortable sticking with only those who readily accepted Him, but He chose to continually reach out to those who wanted nothing to do with Him. In reaching out to them, He never changed His message.  He refused to allow their rejection of Him to change His approach.  He wasn't interested in tickling their ears or appeasing their desire to sign off on their lifestyle.  He didn't come to tolerate their intolerable behavior.  He risked rejection by pointing out the corruption in their hearts. He didn't do that to condemn them, but to prevent them from condemning themselves. He did it all because He loved them. That love resulted in a cross.

More than once Jesus challenged His followers to take up their cross and follow Him.  I'm thinking "our cross" must too include being despised and rejected.  However, that rejection never happens until we determine to truly love.  We never truly take up our cross until we are willing to love enough to risk being rejected.  If we truly love, it is a certainty that there will be those who reject us.  Jesus, Himself, told us we could count on it.  On the road to our cross, sure there will be times when people will receive us, but we too must be prepared for those who despise and reject us.  I think its safe to say that if our journey does not include moments of being despised and rejected then perhaps we're not following very close to the One we claim to be following.

For more listen to Tim's Podcast - "The Road To The Resurrection - Part 1" and "The Road To The Resurrection - Part 2"

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