Summary: Part 3 of the series, Facing Your Fears.
One of people’s greatest fears is the fear of rejection. Rejection can come in many forms:
• This month my car has to be inspected. If it doesn’t pass the inspection, I’ll get a sticker on my car that says, “Rejected.”
• When I play basketball, sometimes one of my shots gets blocked. In basketball lingo, that’s called getting rejected.
• When a single guy asks a girl to go on a date with him, he doesn’t want to be rejected. Many guys are even afraid to ask because of the fear of possible rejection.
• Of course, there are more serious forms of rejection, especially rejection from family and friends.
Mother Teresa said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted…. The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”
We long for acceptance; we dread rejection.
3 Facts to Remember About Rejection:
1. Remember that Christ knows how it feels to be rejected.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (Isa. 53:3; cf. Mark 9:12).
a. He was rejected by His nation.
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him (John 1:11).
• The innkeeper rejected Him. Mary placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7b).
• King Herod rejected Him. He tried to kill Jesus (Matt. 2:13, 16).
• The leaders of the Jews rejected Him. Jesus predicted, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Luke 9:22).
b. He was rejected by His town.
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him (Matthew 13:55-57).
c. He was rejected by His family.
When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind” (Mark 3:21).
For even his own brothers did not believe in him (John 7:5).
d. He was rejected by His friends.
Judas betrayed Him; Peter denied Him; the others deserted Him.
e. He is rejected by many today.
Christ experienced one rejection after another. He knows how it feels to be rejected.
2. Remember that Christ warned that you might be rejected for following Him.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:22-23a).
“He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16). When you are rejected for living for Jesus, it’s really Jesus who is being rejected.
3. Remember that Christ promised never to reject you.
Whoever comes to me I will never drive away (John 6:37b).
At age 17, W. F. Thompson joined the Marines and emerged from boot camp a savage fighter who craved blood. “In combat, I enjoyed killing,” he recalled, “especially with a bayonet.” After the war, Thompson moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, where he went into business. One Friday a man entered his office and, brandishing a gun, demanded money from the firm’s safe. Thompson pursued the man from the building and down the street, but the gunman turned and fired, striking Thompson in the chest and arm. Thompson clung to life through the weekend, but on Monday the doctors urged his wife to call the undertaker. Thompson clung to life and at length opened his eyes and glanced around the room. He spied a Bible open on the bedside table. Reaching over with a groan, he closed it and sank back into a stupor. The next time he opened his eyes he saw the Bible opened. He managed to slam it shut. When his eyes opened the third time, the book was open again. Summoning his strength, he seized it with his good arm to hurl it across the room. But as the Bible hovered over his head, its pages opened to John 6, and the words of verse 37 hit him like a hail of bullets. Whoever comes to me I will never drive away. Thompson later became a preacher, and he shared this verse when he preached his first sermon (Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook: 2003 Edition, p. 17).