Rejected by Church People

Recipients of God’s amazing grace rejecting fellow recipients of that same grace sounds like an oxymoron. God’s image-bearers who should be reflecting His love, His grace, His acceptance should never be found rejecting each other. But it happens.

Anne Graham Lotz has written an entire book on the subject, “Wounded by God’s People.” She herself has been rejected by God’s people – from being asked not to teach a Sunday School class because she used the Bible as her only text – to the time when she was speaking before a group of pastors and they all turned their backs to her because she was a woman.

Jesus, the very Son of God, was rejected by “religious people.” After reading the words of Isaiah from the scroll given Him on the Sabbath, He told His hearers, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and in your presence.” (Luke 4:21) He went on remind them of the miracle working of Elijah and Elisha in healing two Gentiles. That was the last straw for the religious folks who couldn’t wrap their hearts around the healing of Gentiles when there were plenty of Jewish people that needed healing. 

When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They got up, drove him 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. (Luke 4:28-29)

If you’ve been actively involved in the life of a church for any length of time, you too have no doubt experienced rejection by Christ-followers at one time or another. As sad and disheartening as this type of rejection is, we do find comfort that even the Son of God experienced rejection by those who should have known better. In this rejection, we are united with Him in His suffering.

In Luke’s gospel, we find that the angry synagogue people didn’t actually throw Jesus over the cliff, although that was their intent. Instead, Luke tells us: he passed right through the crowd and went on his way. (Luke 4:30)

That verse gives us a clue as to what we should do when we are rejected by fellow believers: we need to pass right through and go on our own way – continuing to serve God and continuing to show God’s grace and love to those who reject us --- knowing that they are NOT the real enemy. 

And let God Himself heal our hurt. 

Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

By Judy Shrout






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