Responding to Rejection
Lord, if there’s any way that I have offended You recently, please show me now and forgive me.
Read LUKE 9:51-62
 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him;  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?”  But Jesus turned and rebuked them.  Then he and his disciples went to another village.  As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”  Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat point do you think Jesus was making in v. 62?
Hostility between Jews and Samaritans was long-standing and deep-seated, and Samaritans would commonly “heckle” pilgrims heading to Jerusalem. Since Jesus was Jewish and, moreover, en route to Jerusalem (51), some Samaritan villagers refused him hospitality (53). But rejection was nothing new for the Son of God: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:11). Luke records that Jesus’ destination was Jerusalem (51). This is not mere geography; Jerusalem represented the destiny that awaited Jesus—the cross, the ultimate rejection.
How do you think Jesus felt about being rejected? Regardless of his feelings, how did Jesus respond? James and John sought swift retaliation and harsh retribution (54). Jesus opted for retreat. This did not mean giving up his mission, but continuing elsewhere (56)—which may well have included other Samaritan villages. Jesus leaves, but not in anger. It is not the unfriendly Samaritans whom Jesus rebuked, but his own disciples (55); for, along with the costly demands of discipleship (55-62), they had to learn how to respond to rejection with both wisdom and love.
Have you faced any rejection recently? How did (or would) you face it? Is there any you may need help to face soon?
Ask the Lord for the wisdom and grace you need to meet rejection with his own amazing, accepting love.
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