Summary: Jesus was despised and rejected of men, but he was only rejected by the leaders of Israel, and the mob they got to support them. Paul had all this plus. He was rejected all over the world, and not just in Jerusalem and by Jews.
Paul is the most traveled man in the New Testament. He covered much of the known world of his
day, and his ambition was to go to the end of the world. The furthest point West that man could then
go was Spain. Spain is only mentioned twice in the New Testament, and both times by Paul in
Romans 15. He says in verse 24, "..when I go to Spain, I hope to visit you while passing through."
Then in verse 28 he writes, "I will go to Spain and visit you on the way."
Paul longed to bear the message of Christ to the frontier of civilization. There in Spain over 14
hundred years later a man with many things in common with Paul wanted to bear the message of
Christ even further West. He became the greatest traveler of his day by going where man had never
gone before. The interesting thing is that his first name means Christ-bearer. That is the literal
meaning of Christopher.
Christopher Columbus had many things in common with Paul. They both had their share of
shipwrecks and survival. They both traveled widely and longed to be used of God to fulfill His
purpose in history. But where their biographies most resemble each other is in the rejection they had
to endure and overcome to accomplish God's purpose. Columbus would have given up the dream
and settled down had he not been a stubborn man who felt called of God to discover a new way
around the world. He was as determined to sail West as Paul was to get to Jerusalem.
He proposed his plan to John II King of Portugal first. He turned it over to a royal commission
of scholars, and after long deliberation they found his scheme utterly fantastic. He then appealed to
Henry VIII of England where the repose was that he was a fool, and his ideas were madness. He then
turned to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. They also turned it over to their own royal commission,
and they studied it for 4 and one half years. Their conclusions were more kind, but the also rejected
it as an unlikely scheme.
On top of all the official rejection by the so-called experts, he had to endure the ridicule of those
who heard of his dream. They would greet him like this: "Ah, here come our vagabond again, with
his pathetic prattling about spheres and parallels. Tell us Christofaro, does the world appear any
rounder to you today?" For 8 long years he had to endure rejection and humiliation. Finally he was
granted the chance to fulfill the dream God had given him. He had plenty of rejection after that also
before the dream was realized. It seems like anyone who makes a major breakthrough in history has
to face much rejection.
Paul was no exception as the Apostle called to break down the wall between Jews and Gentiles.
This wall was like the Great Wall of China. It had been worked on for centuries, and nobody was
about to let it be demolished by some fool dreamer who had the notion that God loved all people
equally. It was even hard for many Jewish Christians to accept this radical idea, and the result was
that Paul held the record for being the most rejected man in the New Testament.
Jesus was despised and rejected of men, but he was only rejected by the leaders of Israel, and
the mob they got to support them. Paul had all this plus. He was rejected all over the world, and not
just in Jerusalem and by Jews. Paul was opposed by Gentiles who hated him for ruining their racket
in idolatry. Paul was also opposed by Christians who did not like some of his teachings. Some of his
closest companions even forsook him. Demos forsook Paul for the world, and Barnabas split up with
him over John Mark. Paul was rejected by more people in more places for more reasons than
anybody in the Bible that I can think of. There can be question about it, for the evidence is
overwhelming that Paul is the most rejected man of the New Testament. If we can't learn how to
cope with rejection from him, we just as well forget it. We want to look at his life from the point of
view of the reasons for his being rejected, and his responses which made him an over comer. First
lets look at-
I. THE REASONS FOR HIS REJECTION.
Paul was rejected primarily for the same reason that any person is rejected, and that is because
he was different. If you are different and do not conform to the majority, you are courting rejection.
That is why people are such conformists. It is the easiest way to avoid rejection. Paul was not