As human beings, we crave to be accepted, but as a disciple of Jesus, we must expect to be misunderstood, misjudged and rejected at times.
When Jesus was growing up, He was ‘in favor with God and men” (Lk 2:52). But after He was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was no longer in favor with His neighbors, religious leaders and family members.
When they heard Him preach, they were filled with anger and jealousy. In Luke 4:28-29, the crowd wanted to throw Him off the cliff. Why the sudden change in His favor with man?
The world does not like to be disturbed. People love traditions, habits, idols and status. Jesus disturbed their peace! He was no longer the quiet carpenter, the trusted neighbor. His Father had called Him to preach, to teach, to heal, to love and ultimately to die. This new ministry called for drastic choices, commitment and bold faith.
Like Jesus, the disciple cannot worry about being rejected or even being understood. The life of self-sacrificing discipleship is so different with the world’s craving for acceptance, comfort and popularity. If I am too popular or too highly acclaimed, I had better check my message! “Give them what they want” is deplorable advice to a true prophet of Jesus Christ.
The disciple of God must be ready to fellowship with the Holy Spirit and a few faithful ones who have grasped the truth being proclaimed. Jesus called Himself the “good Shepherd” (John 10:11) for the benefit of those who had been excommunicated from the synagogue for His sake. (John 9:34) To all whom the world has rejected for His sake, Jesus is the door to abundant life and eternal life.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then is heard, “Here I am. Send me!” Isa. 6:8