Mark 4 Lesson

Overcoming Rejection


Rejection is difficult. It hurts to be rejected at any level. Being rejected can leave scars that can take years to heal.

According to Nathan DeWall, Ph.D., “Social rejection increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy, and sadness. It reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks and can also contribute to aggression and poor impulse control.” (Source:

As painful as social rejection is, being rejected for one’s faith is even more painful. Jesus understood this, and before He sent out His disciples, He warned them and prepared them for the rejection they were about to encounter.


  1. “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” - John 15:18,
  2. “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  ” - 1 Peter 2:4,
  3. “He was despised and abandoned by men, a man of great pain and familiar with sickness; And like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised, and we had no regard for Him.” - Isaiah 53:3,
  4. “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him  .” - John 1:11.

Jesus was rejected.

But not all the time.

The Apostles were rejected.

But not all the time.

Some of the seeds that were planted responded to the Gospel! And that is why we can never lose heart in doing good!

  • “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” – Galatians 6:9.


Our time on earth is limited. We have only a finite number of days to demonstrate our love for Jesus and to act on our faith. God does not want us to spend precious time with an audience that is unreceptive to the Gospel. He wants us to be productive.

As Christians, we are to “Fish where the fish are.” In other words, we are to evangelize where people are most receptive to the message. Sadly, many people are not going to be receptive to hearing the Gospel. Jesus talked about this in the following two scriptures:

  1. And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,“Listen to this! Behold, the sower went out to sow; as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.Other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of soil. And after the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” And He was saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark 4:2-9,
  2. “The sower sows the word. These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:14-20.

In this parable, Jesus compares evangelism to planting seeds. He tells us this parable to prepare us for the fact that when we share the gospel, some will be receptive but many more will not be. This should not surprise us.  Jesus told us this would be the case. 

  • And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.  Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin standing outside and knocking on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ and He then will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin saying, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets!’ And yet He will say, ‘I do not know where you are from; leave Me, all you evildoers.’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Luke 13:23-28.


Rejectionis part of life for a Christian. The Bible is written to encourage us to keep our faith, even when others reject Christ. Jesus, Himself was rejected repeatedly. If Jesus was rejected, we should not be surprised when we are also.  The important thing is for us not to give up.  With God’s help, some of our efforts to share the Gospel will be successful, and every saved soul is precious in the sight of God! 


Rejection is hard to go through. Jesus was rejected, the Apostles will be rejected, and we will be rejected also.

We cannot, however, let rejection deter us from doing the work of the Lord. As Christians, we must persevere, and fight through rejection!  We must continue to share the good news of Jesus regardless of how the message is received.

We will end today’s lesson with the following passage from the Gospel of Luke. It reminds us of how precious every soul is in the eyes of God:

  • So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” -Luke 15:3-7.


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Virtual Bible Study™

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think or feel?
2) What questions do you have?
3) How can you apply what you have learned to something specific in your life?