There was a young woman who had a calling over her life. She was brave enough preach in front of crowds. She was willing to go the extra mile to support those in need. She loved God enough to obey her call in moving to a foreign land. Although she had positive traits, there were still improvements needed to be dealt with in her spirit. She faced an identity crisis, battled with spiritual warfare, and struggled with overcoming rejection – people hurt. One day while she was praying for healing from her present and past, she sought for strength to push forward in her calling. She was led to the story of Jesus facing rejection in His hometown.
Maybe you are like this young woman who dealt with rejection. Have you sought to find a way out? Have you been transparent about the spirit within you? What have you done to overcome? Mark 6:1-6 and Luke 4:16-30 gives a great example of how Jesus dealt with rejection from the people in His hometown. It was on a Sabbath Day when Jesus went to His hometown in Nazareth to preach in a synagogue. He read one of the prophet Isaiah’s scrolls which reads:
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Isaiah 61:1-2)
After the people heard this, they were speaking well of Him and were amazed. However, they spoke among themselves and questioned His identity. They became offended by Jesus because of who His relatives were and what He did for a living. Imagine if you were in Jesus’ shoes. Maybe you grew up in the projects and lived the lifestyle of a drug dealer. Maybe you had an abortion and people are still holding it against you. Or perhaps you were abused and used for human trafficking. There is hope for your future. As you give your heart to the Lord, He will reveal His plan for your life.
Have you noticed how people will use your past to question your calling? Do you get negative feedback from the people God called you to preach to? I can definitely relate to this part of Jesus’ life. I have faced family members who questioned my calling because of the clothes I wear. I was told that I cannot evangelize and publish books because I wear leggings and pants! I was told that I was not saved because of my appearance even while God’s hand is upon my life. The people we come across who are offended by our calling are the Pharisaical Giants of rejection. They are too religious for their own good. They are too blind to see God’s anointing upon our lives. Some of them may even be jealous of what God has in store for us. There is a solution to all of this. So keep reading to find out how we can overcome.
After Jesus noticed that the people were offended, he said, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” He then gave two examples of prophets who faced rejection. The first example is the prophet Elijah. Based off of 1 Kings 17, Elijah was living in a town where prophets were rejected and killed. God led him to seek refuge at a Gentile woman’s home. Elijah was from Tishbe in Gliead which mean that he was a part of the Jewish community. As we know Jews and Gentiles did not have a happy relationship in those days. At the woman’s house he received rest, food, and shelter. In return, God used him to perform a miracle over the woman’s son. The beauty of this story is that God used Elijah so that someone who did not have a relationship with God would get to know Him and glorify Him.
The second example Jesus gives is the prophet Elisha when he helped Naaman, a Syrian man, become healed from leprosy. In 2 Kings 5, Arameans had taken over the land of Israel. Arameans and Syrians are of the same ethnic group. To sum everything together, while the Arameans were taking over Israel’s land, the king of Aram sent Naaman, one of his people, to be healed by Elisha, a prophet of Israel. Elisha was chosen to heal his enemy of leprosy. When Naaman was sent to Elisha, Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman telling him that he will be restored when he goes to the Jordan River and wash seven times. Although Naaman had difficult time accepting the significance about washing at the Jordan, he obeyed Elisha and received his healing. As a result, Naaman and his whole company thanked God for his restoration. The beauty of this story is that God use Elisha so that someone who did not have a relationship with God would get to know Him and glorify Him.
Now, getting back to the point that Jesus intended to make, He was telling the people in the synagogue that a prophet is rejected in his hometown, but accepted by unbelievers to demonstrate God’s power to his enemies. When the people heard the examples Jesus had given, they became enraged. This gave them even more of a reason to drive Jesus out of the city. Luke 6:29 says that the people got up, drove Jesus out of town, and brought Him to the edge of the hill that their town was built on, intending to hurl Him over the cliff. However, Jesus passed through the crowd and went on His way.
The great part about this story is the way that Jesus overcame rejection. He passed through the crowd. He passed through adversity. He did not tackle anybody. Although rejection brought Him to the edge, He did not allow rejection to push him over the edge. Instead, Jesus was determined enough to move in His own direction so that He may fulfill His mission on earth. In the same way, we ought to look at rejection as if it is the people who Jesus faced on the edge of the cliff.
Are you on your edge? Well, push through the crowd! Recognize that you are a child of the Most Living High God. Find and accept your identity in our Creator. He loves you so much. He sees your weakness and He calls you to overcome. You already have the power, authority, and victory over the wiles of the enemy. You already have unlimited resources set in place for your journey. The journey you are called to may be challenging. However, BELIEVE! You can do this! So I encourage you today to do just as Jesus did. He overcame the rejection by pushing through the crowd.
Mark 6:4 HCSB
Then Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.”
Romans 8:30 NIV
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Colossians 3:23, 24 NIV
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Psalms 16:11 NLT
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalms 84:11 HCSB
For the LORD God is a sun and shield. The LORD gives grace and glory; He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity.
Always know that you are Chosen, you are Royal, you are Holy, and you are God’s Special Possession.
He has turned your darkness into light.
~* 1 Peter 2:9*~