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Rejected Identity

  • Rejected Identity from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about rejection, especially in your calling, your gifts, your talents, by those who are familiar with you. We can read the Bible and feel like Jesus had an automatic win button in every circumstance. Storms, disease, demons, even death obeyed His words, but there was one thing on Earth that did not: people.

    Not everyone was impressed with Jesus, who was God, walking on Earth as a man, with miracles happening all around Him. After Jesus was baptized and fasted for forty days, miracles began to appear in His life. He turned water into wine and healed people by just speaking the words. As the news began to spread, He was invited to speak in the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. All were speaking well of Him and His gracious words, but familiarity soon set in and they began to say “Is not this Joseph’s son?” After that things deteriorated quickly and Jesus didn’t even get to finish His message.

    And He said, “Truly I say to you, no prophet is welcome in his hometown. “But I say to you in truth, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went His way. Luke 4:24–30 NASB

    This was His family’s synagogue and they were not impressed with Jesus’ words, His gifts, or His calling. They dragged Him to a cliff and tried to throw Him off of it, but somehow He passed through them and moved to the fishing village of Capernaum. There He continued His ministry. Time passed by, His fame grew, and sometimes it became so busy they didn’t have time to eat. When Jesus’ family heard of this, His mother and brothers came hoping to privately restrain Him and take Him back to Nazareth for they thought that He had lost His mind:

    And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” (Mark 3:20–21 NASB).

    They were not concerned or impressed with the calling on His life, His gifts, the miracles, or His plans. They had plans for Him of their own. Jesus did not have a “God mode” button to press and make people understand Him. Some people believed in Jesus. Some did not. All that He could do was let them decide. It is the same today.

    More years passed by. Jesus calms storms, casts out demons, heals people, and raises the dead. He would love to reach His hometown because, who knows, maybe the years had softened them. So near the end of His ministry, Jesus made one more trip to Nazareth in the north.

    He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? “And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:54–58 NASB). 

    At first they were amazed at His wisdom and His miracles. This was His hometown and they knew that He was not an educated rabbi, yet He spoke with a clarity and an authority they had never heard before. Then as they began to talk among themselves, contempt, and probably jealousy began to creep in.

    “Isn’t this the carpenter? He once roofed my house! This man is a common laborer, the village handy man. He has no right to speak to us about spiritual matters!” Then it grew worse: “Isn’t this Mary’s son?” This was a cheap slam for sons were always identified by their father’s name, not their mothers, even when the father was dead. They were calling Jesus illegitimate and not acknowledging that He had a dad, which may have been because the town knew that Mary had become pregnant before she was actually married.

    There are people who find it personally offensive if someone who was one of them yesterday, becomes much more today. These were the people Jesus grew up with. How this must have hurt. Jesus was victim of what all too often is a law of human relationships: familiarity breeds contempt. C. S. Lewis said that Jesus was either the Lord, a lunatic, or a liar. His hometown chose liar, and a demonized one at that.

    Jesus once marveled at the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8:10. Now He marvels at the unbelief in His hometown. How awful is it to amaze God with your unbelief? Yet that can be our choice. Jesus’ disciples sat in that synagogue and watched them reject their Lord in amazement. They had seen so many miracles, dead people coming back to life, Jesus walking on water, feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread, yet these people still saw Him as a simple carpenter. This was His last visit to Nazareth. Jesus said:

    “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20 NKJV).

    If you become discouraged because some people reject your calling, remember this: Not everyone was impressed with Jesus. After He raised Lazarus from the dead, they planned to kill Him, and Lazarus (John 11:53). They can dismiss all the good that you will ever do and be completely blind to what God is doing through you. You will not reach everyone, and many of those close to you will never understand why you are different. Just know that facing rejection and continuing the battle is part of your calling.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me get past the rejection in my life. Strengthen me, guide me and give me the wisdom and grace to continue on. I want You to fulfill Your will in my life and to walk closer to You with each passing day, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


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21 comments
  • 1
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor I really relate to this. God made me to care about His creatures. Even as a child, I had a love and understanding of them. Doctors kept telling me because of my severe asthma I would never be able to be around animals. I remember thinking it didn't make sense for the Lord to make me with a love and understanding of animals but give me a disease that kept me away from them, so I figure the asthma would have to go. Well, I still have asthma, but I was right..the Lord eased my allergies and enabled me to be around all animals. This is something I try to remind myself of when I need to give my faith a boost.
Nov 17
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen

Nov 18
  • 1
Debi Burton
Debi Burton I am God’s child Amen
Nov 18
  • 1
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Jehovah, thy will be done! Amen
Nov 20
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Nov 18
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen 

Nov 18
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen

Nov 18
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. With the Lords acceptance, others can reject me. I have God with me, I am Grateful.  Amen 

Nov 18
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen, thank you Jesus.

Nov 18
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen!

Nov 18
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Jesus  walks with me daily  praise God  amen 

Nov 18
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Help me God. Amen

Nov 18
Comment deleted
  • 1
Kathie Byram Lopez
Kathie Byram Lopez

Father please help me.

Nov 18
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Your will be done, Father. Amen!

Nov 18
  • 1
Laura  Johnsen
Laura Johnsen

Amen! Thank you for this Pastor Dion. I have faced alot of rejection in my life.  I guess I am in good company.  Thank you Jesus for not rejecting me and being with me always. 

Nov 18
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Oh Heavenly Father I humbly ask You to walk with me closely, to deal with the rejection that I may encounter on my every day walk. That Your love and care be with me always, in Jesus name I pray. Amen. 

Excellent devotional Pastor, God bless you.

 

 

Nov 18
  • 1
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

Nov 18
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Nov 18
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen! Thank you Pastor Dion, I really needed to hear this today!

Nov 18
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

Amen!

Nov 20