Have you ever felt like you were rejected by those who are closest to you?
Maybe you have tried to share your faith or extend an invitation to your church to someone close to you only to experience failure?
Maybe you have given up on trying to talk to them because you think it is useless?
Well, the crazy part is that you are not alone.
Jesus actually experienced the very same thing.
Mark 6:4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”
If you are trying to evangelize people in your hometown among your friends or your family I want to give you some encouragement. Jesus said this in Mark because he experienced rejection. Those we would assume would be most receptive to Jesus message are the most unresponsive.
John actually gives us a glimpse into the rejection that Jesus experienced in John 7:3-5 “So his brothers said to him, ‘Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.’ For not even his brothers believed in him.”
Jesus’ half-brothers not only rejects him but actually make fun of him. I know that it’s easy to think that this didn’t bother Jesus because he is the son of God. But I think because He was fully human that He still felt the full pain of rejection just as we do. But that didn’t stop Jesus. He continued to faithfully work the plan and purposed God had given Him.
There’s hope for the homegrown reject
And just when you think there’s not hope for those Jesus grew up with, we read this statement in James chapter 1 from James the half-brother of Jesus – “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.“
Jesus half-brother James writes this sentence. James doesn’t say and of my half-brother Jesus Christ. No, he says and of the Lord Jesus Christ. James has come to a place where he not only believes in who his brother is but has surrendered to Him as his Lord.
I used to think that this meant that you would always be rejected in your hometown and that maybe you needed to move away to be effective, but I don’t think that’s what Jesus was getting at. Maybe this is just a matter of fact statement. Jesus just wanted you to know this so you would know that it is going to happen. And he still wants you to pursue this calling where you are in spite of the rejection.
Don’t give up on those who have rejected you. God has placed you in their lives for a reason. You might just have to go through some rejection before anything happens. You might even get rejected so much that you buy a t-shirt that says homegrown reject.
But maybe one day you will get to hear these beautiful words come out of their mouths — (fill in the blank with their name)_______, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.