Rejection is a terribly hard thing, isn’t it? It’s incredibly painful when people give us the cold shoulder, but it is much more incredibly painful when our families reject us. Our mums and dads are biologically programmed to love us and accept us, but they still reject us.
One of the tragedies of Christmas is when families are actually divided at Christmas rather than coming together when there are whole sections of relatives missing. Why? Because your family rejected you due to the reason that you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus has come as the one to bring light, the true light about our knowledge of our relationship with God. He’s coming to reveal this most beautiful God, a God of love. And yet, even though that is what Jesus came to do, He is rejected by the very people He comes to.
John 1:10-11 states, the eternal Son of God, the eternal Word of God, the Lord Jesus, was in the world. And though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognise Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. The Lord Jesus is the Word, the one true Whom and by Whom the world was created. And yet when He turns up to reveal God to the world, they don’t recognise Him.
As we read in John’s Gospel, despite all the amazing miracles He does, people don’t see Him for who He is. More than that, He comes to His own people, His own nation, the Jewish nation, God’s people from the Old Testament, the people that the very promises that pointed towards to the fact that the Lord was coming, and they don’t accept Him. They rejected Him again. We read it in John’s Gospel again and we find that the Jewish religious leaders even recognise that He does miracles but cling to the authority they have in their lives. Well, they in the end plot to kill the Lord Jesus Christ.
You see, the cross cast its shadow over John’s Gospel from the very start. This beautiful, eternal Word of God who comes to the world is rejected by the very world He has come to save. Now as a Christian, Jesus tells us, as he says to his first disciples, if they hated me, they will hate you also. One of the hardest things about Christmas time is that the very message that is the heart of Christmas, that the good news that the Lord Jesus Christ came to save sinners can lead us to being rejected. If we stand for Jesus, if we take the risk to make Him known, that might be causing us to be disliked. But, we still must preach the good news that Jesus came to save the sinners. Jesus came to save me.
You see, if we follow the one Who was rejected by the world, we may well be rejected as well. But it is also important to remember that by nature we are amongst those rejecters. By nature, we don’t recognise Who is the Word of God. By nature, we don’t want this Word of God to rule over our lives. And yet, He still comes. His love for us is so great that He comes, knowing the way that He will be treated, knowing the way He will be rejected.
Knowing the way that He will be bruised, knowing the way that He will be in the end, be denigrated. And He will be killed in our place and out of love, He still comes. Even though some of us are being rejected by their loved ones, but we are still accepted by the Lord Jesus Christ. He calls us His beloved, He calls us His friend. I am always struck with the heart of Jesus. It’s not only He comes into this broken world knowing that He will be rejected. Knowing He will be bruised, but He still comes to this world out of love.
I am always struck by what would Jesus say to the individuals who physically rejected Him and then put Him, nailed Him on the cross. He will say something to those people who physically put the nails in His hands, who physically put the spear into His side. He will tell them there is another way, a better way of coming to my heart, coming to my arms. If he will repent and look upon whom he has pierced, (and we mourn), I will cherish him in the way that very bosom he has wounded. He shall find the blood he shed as an atonement for the sins of shedding it. He will simply tell them, look, it will hurt Me more, it will bruise Me more. It will give Me more pain if you still reject me, if you still refuse my offer of my blood. Because His heart is just so beautiful, because He’s gentle and lowly in His heart, that’s the heart of the word of God.
So it’s Christmas now. The Word of God came to save the sinners. Then the sinners accepted His offer, became His beloved ones. They were rejected by their loved ones, but they are accepted by the Word Himself at this Christmas time. We have a beautiful message to make known. Maybe to those of us who feel rejected, those of us who feel bruised, those of us who feel unloved, there is one, though, who we rejected.
He still loves us, still loves you and is committed to you. He came for you. That is the eternal Word of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. While He was rejected, we by default rejected Him. But He still came for me. The world is rejecting Him. Still, He came for the world.
During this Christmas time, those of you who feel the rejection by your family members, by your mother, father, brothers and sisters, remember the eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ loves you and He’s committed to you in His fullness. Have a merry Christmas.