Summary: Jesus was in the world and the world knew Him not.
Introduction: The now infamous Lance Armstrong once said, “A boo is a lot louder than a cheer.” And he hit the nail on the head, because no one wants to be rejected. It can make you conclude what Oprah Winfrey said, “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me” because no one wants the door slammed in their face. But have you ever considered the fact that rejection can help you to grow spiritually? If you’ve ever been rejected you are on the list with people like Thomas Edison who was told by his teachers that he “was too stupid to learn anything” and Albert Einstein who did not speak until he was four; did not read until he was seven and his teachers actually dismissed him as being mentally handicapped. And more up to date you have joined the likes of Mr. Bill Gates, who dropped out of Harvard; his first company failed miserably but now his Microsoft Company is a global giant.
How should we deal with or respond to rejection? It’s a very good question especially when it comes to the Church.
Rejection is one of the devil’s favorite tools to use against people. He’s always going about planting seeds of rejection, but the devil is a liar because he really has no power over us when we know who we are in Christ. The old folk used to say that, “God doesn’t make any junk” and the text deals with our response to being rejected and gives us some insight as to how we can and should deal with it. In the text, Jesus goes back to preach and teach in his own hometown, and the people there—his own neighbors—refuse to accept his teaching. Mind you, it’s not like they aren’t listening to the message—they are. They acknowledge that he is speaking with wisdom and acting with power, but they reject him anyway! They got hung up over His social status. They were no different than today’s Church because in today’s Church social status is a big thing, in fact it is a very big thing.
Some people today join churches because of the popularity of the pastor and never mind his character; they just want the privilege of saying that my pastor is Rev. Dr. so and so; he’s known all over the United States, he has PhD in this and PhD in that . Some people today join churches because of the high-profile membership of that Church, because of all the doctors and lawyers, etc. who are in attendance there. Jesus was just a carpenter’s son; He was not a part of the Pharisee; He was not considered among the upper class and most of the people He hung out with were fishermen. His credentials were not good enough for them and so they rejected Him. In fact, they knew Him when..., usually you don’t have much a chance with people knew you when..., you’re plain old Joe to them.
Here He was in the synagogue, a carpenter trying to teach us something about God and Law? Must have been the prevalent thought among those in attendance, it’s true today that many people judge others by their education, success, achievement, name, wealth, prestige, roots, fame, position, and heritage. And Jesus’ humble beginning was just not good enough for them. To them, He had an average father (Joseph) with an average mother (Mary) neither parent had achieved any prominence nor have any of their children risen above any of the other children there in Nazareth. How could Jesus possibly be who He was claiming to be: the Messiah, God’s very own Son? It's just human nature that others place us in question sometimes. If your neighbor became very famous righteously. You would be hesitant to accept this honor for him as you know a lot about him and can think of a reason that he does not deserve such honor. Maybe he crossed you in some way at one time. You would think, you mean to tell me Jim next door received such an honor as this? Concerning Jesus, people would say he is just the carpenter’s son in an insignificant little town. This is exactly why Nathaniel asked the question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
The Bible says that, “He was in the world, and though the world was made by Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” And so, if you have ever been rejected you are not only listed among Edison, Einstein, and Gates—you are listed with the Savior of the world, the Son of God Himself!
1.) IT’S NOT WHAT MAN SAYS ABOUT YOU
If they should treat you as if you’re a nobody in the Church, please don’t be alarmed. Because it is not about what and who they say you are, people will try and place you in a box, but that’s only if you let them. Whenever they say that you’re a nobody, God counteracts what they say, and He wants you to know that to Him you are somebody. And He knows, because He created you; He knows, because He’s the only One qualified to judge you. God says that you’re so special to Him that He even sent His own Son to die for your sins. We are all made from the dirt, and when they criticize you and talk about you it only amounts to dirt talking dirt about dirt.