"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff." Luke 4:28-29
It seems that Jesus' ministry life was so full of ups and downs that it almost makes me nauseous to read it.
He sees these ridiculously cool victories in the lives of people, yet he has so many that want to kick him to the curb. Doesn't sound like the life of a rock-star so much. Sounds more like your life. And mine.
What gets me the most is the pattern of rejection that seemed to follow Jesus everywhere. Just the sound of the word "rejection" causes me to need a half bottle of Motrin. It may be one of the things I fear most. Not sure why, but I sure know how it feels.
I've been rejected before...in less dramatic ways than Jesus of course (I have yet to be accosted and an attempt made to toss me off a cliff......though I'm not saying that hasn't actually crystallized in the minds of some who know me...). I've been rejected by girls who I wanted to ask out (which is why I rarely ever did that......so I wouldn't face rejection). In fact, I think if given the choice between loneliness and rejection, I probably would have opted for loneliness b/c at least my oft distorted dignity would remain intact. I've been cut from a high school baseball team.....as a senior no less (though in retrospect, the guy they cut me for ended up playing in the Braves organization up to AAA and was on the Pan-Am team....they made the right call).
Some have had it much worse than some rejections by girlfriends or coaches or teachers. Some have been rejected by mothers or fathers or spouses. Some have been betrayed by "friends" (but with friends like that........).
Rejection is awful.
But rejection is what Jesus felt nearly every day of his ministry. His hometown rejected him (and tried to throw him off the cliff). The religious establishment rejected him (which probably didn't sting so bad really). His people, Israel, as a whole rejected him......giving clarity to the Scripture that tells us that he "came to his own but his own did not receive him." And some of his friends rejected him (and I'm not really referring to Judas the traitor here.......think Peter the fisherman). Even if rejection is temporary, it really hurts.
But apparantly, Jesus considered rejection worth the risk of loving them. Of loving us. He would rather love and be rejected than to never love at all.
Just reminds me.........love takes guts because the backside of it can be rejection. Rejection by the world, by your colleagues, by your employer. But love is always worth it. Love is redemptive........eventually.
Jesus' people, Israel, will get it one day. That's the testimony of Romans 9-11. And maybe that person that keeps rejecting you will get it too one day. Keep loving them.
Even if they try to throw you off a cliff.