Stand Strong in Your Faith
Are you rubbing shoulders with people who have rejected Jesus? Stand strong like Jesus did when he got up to read the Word of God in his hometown synagogue.
Digging Deeper: Luke 4:16-44
Key Verses: So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (Luke 4:16)
So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. (Luke 4:28-30)
As we continue in Luke 4, Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth after being in the wilderness for 40 days. If you have ever gone through a time of testing, didn’t you find that you come out stronger than ever?
Jesus had been teaching in various synagogues and was ‘glorified by all’ (Luke4:15). News got around that He was in the area.
Then he went to the synagogue in Nazareth, filled with the power of the Spirit after experiencing victory over testing.
When you go through a wilderness season of testing, you are strengthened by the grace of God to overcome. You are always made better in Christ when you surrender to Him during your trials.
Because of the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, He understands what we go through and is able to empower and strengthen us in the Spirit too.
What Satan means for harm in your life, backfires on him and he is duped by his own cunning and caught in his craftiness.
Jesus got up and read from Isaiah 61:1-12 and then answered the two questions that the people had in their hearts.
“Who did Isaiah write of?”
Then he sat down and began answering them by telling them, “Isaiah wrote of Me!”
Then their next question on their hearts was, “When will this come to pass?”
And Jesus also answered that question by saying, “Isaiah wrote of now!”
The people were amazed and yet, anger started to stir in their hearts until it worked up into wrath.
They took Jesus to a cliff outside of the city and were preparing to push him over the edge.
Amazingly, Jesus turned around and walked through the crowds without them ever noticing!
Jesus had pointed out that there was something wrong with them. They had requested a miracle and He had denied them their request.
Instead, Jesus did an UNEXPECTED MIRACLE right in front of their eyes, escaping miraculously.
Are You Around People Who have Rejected Jesus?
How does this true story resonate with your life?
I think this resonates more than we realize. We rub shoulders with people who have rejected Jesus every. single. day.
Some are like a neighbor I used to have. He would say, “AAAh . . . I don’t need religion. My wife goes to mass for me!” One day he died, never having received the good news of Jesus that I know of.
Others might be religious and go to mass or church and Sunday school every week but not personally know Jesus.
Yet there are others who ignore the message of Jesus and those who might never have heard.
Most of these people would never push anyone off a cliff. Nevertheless, they are pushing Jesus aside.
Are you around people who are like this?
Have they rejected Jesus?
Have people rejected you, just like Jesus because you have identified with Christ?
How to Respond when You Have Been Rejected
When I was in the eighth grade, I dealt with seriously rejected more than any other time in my life.
If there is ever a time in your life that you are dealing with ridicule and verbal put-downs, whether in your marriage or in your community, digging into the Word of God will strengthen you.
Bible Verses dealing with Rejection:
1 Peter 2:4
2 Corinthians 12:9
When you experience rejection in your life because you are a faithful follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit will indwell and strengthen you just like Jesus was prepared in the wilderness for the harsh response of the people of Nazareth.
Have you been rejected? What did you find helped you most during that time?