Rejection is not something anybody likes. No one wants to feel rejected especially by the people close to you or when you present something that is precious to you and it is rejected.
I recently applied to have two of my websites featured on a website that listed websites developed with a certain technology. One of them was the Biblepraise website and the site Author’s reason was that it was a religious website and he didn’t wanted none of that. The second website was simply in the website owner’s eyes, not ‘attractive’ enough.
My immediate reaction was disappointment and then I shared my experience with some friends who are in a tech group with me and we laughed it off and I felt a lot better. To me, it did not matter after all, it was not a ‘need to have’, it was a ‘nice to have’.
In spite of this however, I knew that the feeling of rejection was not gone. It was still gnawing deep within me even when I told myself, ‘Nah! I am fine, nothing to worry about’. Eventually , I knew I needed to address it in prayer and I came to the Lord honestly expressing my feelings of rejection and He healed my heart and I was finally able to put the incident behind me once and for all.
This incident made me think of how Jesus, the one we model our lives after as Christians, handled rejection especially from those closest to Him.
Jesus decided at some point during his ministry to visit his hometown, Nazareth. As usual, His first port of call was the Synagogue where he began to teach. (Matthew 13:54) The things Jesus’ spoke about and taught was something they had never heard before and they were also amazed at the depth of his teaching. Amazement led to jealousy which we can glean from the questions the people of the town began to ask as recorded in scripture, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’
A quick investigation into His background led to personal questions like, “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?” (Matthew 13: 54-56)
Jealousy eventually led to rejection as we read in the next verse, “And they took offence at Him”. Jesus did not go to Nazareth to show of his miracles, He was there to help. It was perfectly normal for Him to want His hometown to benefit from the grace of God upon Him. Rather than be happy and glad that Nazareth could produce such an eminent personality, they took offence and decided not to believe in what Jesus taught. They were so busy focusing on who they thought He was that they failed to recognise Him for who He is!
As a result of their attitude, Jesus was not able not perform many miracles there, not because He did not want to but because they wouldn’t let Him, by reason of their unbelief.
How did Jesus respond to their rejection? “He simply recognised what the problem was, we we can see from His response to the questions asked by the people. “A prophet is not without honour except in his hometown and in his own household.” (Matthew 13:57)
People will have various reasons for rejecting us even when our intentions are noble and even meant for their own benefit. Rather than allow the hurt of the rejection to get a hold of us, we will benefit from learning from the way the Master handled His own rejection. He simply evaluated the reasons for their rejection and moved on.
Are you feeling hurt because you were rejected? If there is one person who understands what it means to be rejected, it is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and He is willing and ready to heal your hurt and help you get past the pain of rejection.