Have you ever felt unwanted, rejected? Have you ever been made to feel like an outsider? It hurts so much more when you are rejected by those closest to you – by those whose acceptance and approval you want the most.
This week’s Gospel reading – and all the readings of Epiphany – are aimed at one thing: revealing who Jesus is as the Messiah. There are, however, many other things we can take away from these scriptures and all Scripture. The Bible is a multifaceted book that hides its wisdom in simplicity – its wisdom is hidden from “wise” of this world, yet revealed to the “foolish.”
Sure, we see Jesus revealed as the Messiah, but we also see Jesus rejected by his own people. They are all amazed at his teaching until someone lowers the boom and says something to the effect of “Hey I remember you. You’re Joe’s kid.” Suddenly all the greatness of his teaching is forgotten and when he confronts their short-sighted haughtiness they become enraged and want to kill him. TALK ABOUT REJECTION to the “nth degree.”
In our lives we often face rejection. Sometimes the greatest rejection is by the ones we love and is the result of our following the ways of God rather than the ways of the world. Family and friends would rather have us they way they want us – the way that makes them comfortable. Often this is out of fear – fear they will lose us or fear our new life might confront their way of being.”
Like Jesus we can draw strength on the faithfulness of God. He will preserve and deliver us when we chose not to live for the world, to accept rejection and live for Him. The crowd attempted to throw Jesus to his death but God allowed Him to pass through them and through their raged unscathed – after He had confronted their unbelief. So too will God preserve us and deliver us through the tumult when we follow Him in faith.
Heavenly Father, your ways are not the world’s ways, but the world’s ways are so tempting. Preserve me, O Lord, and give me faith to follow you. Comfort me when the world rejects me for doing your will and help me to embrace your will, act as you would have me and not allow the desire to be accepted corrupt me desire to follow you, AMEN.