Mathew 11 Lesson

Rejection

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: apa.org).

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.

In Mathew Chapter 11, Jesus talks about the rejection He experienced in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum and how they will be judged harshly for their lack of repentance and faith.

BIBLE VERSES ABOUT REJECTION

  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.

HANDLING REJECTION

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.

In Virtual Bible Study’s lesson from Acts 20, we made the following points:

One of the most important takeaways we can learn from the book of Acts is 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 spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.  Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.  But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.  And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.  He who has ears, let him hear.” – Mathew 13:3-9,
  2. “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.  The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.  And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” – Mathew 13:19-23.

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. He does not want us to become discouraged.

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

As Christians, we need to persevere through the rejection and continue to plant seeds for God. Jesus spoke about the importance of this in the following parable:

  • “And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” – Mathew 13:3-9.

On the one hand, this scripture helps us manage our expectations so that when the seed that we plant does not mature, we are not surprised or disheartened.

On the other hand, we need to pay attention to the part of that parable that highlights the seeds that fell on good soil.

  • “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” – Mathew 13:9.

CONCLUSION

Rejection at any level can be difficult to live with. It is especially hard when we get rejected from sharing the Gospel because souls are at stake.

Jesus taught the apostles, and us, to not become discouraged and to keep planting those seeds. That is the takeaway from today’s lesson. If the seeds we are planting in one area are not effective, we can brush off our feet and try again somewhere else.

When our efforts to share our love for Jesus are successful, it is a beautiful thing, and the heavens rejoice!

We will end today’s lesson with the following parable spoken by Jesus and recorded in the Gospel of Luke:

  • “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 15:4-7.

Comments

James A Guillory

Always remember when you are ministering or whenever you are planting seeds remember that we are only ministers and the ones who plant not the ones who make it grow it is the Lord who takes care of the rest and he is always working where the WE see the results or not!!!

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