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Brookdale: Rejection

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(ESV) “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
(ESV) “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
It is an interesting study, especially this time of the year, to recognize the amount of rejection received by both Joseph and Mary, and Jesus Himself.
From the onset of The Annunciation made by the angel Gabriel to young Mary (), Mary was set on a path of trial and hardship. Yes, indeed, she is blessed to be a bearer of our incarnate Savior, but just remember what her day-to-day life must have been like while carrying the Son of God in her womb.
Luke 1:26–38 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Only betrothed to Joseph, becoming pregnant outside of marriage was a death sentence per Jewish law. Joseph, after receiving a vision in a dream not to fear taking Mary for his wife (), did not accuse Mary of adultery, keeping her from being stoned.
Matthew 1:19–20 ESV
And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
One can only imagine though the looks of contempt and disdain Mary endured—a teenage no less—while her pregnancy progressed. Saved from death, only to undoubtedly be made an outcast in the small Nazarene community. I think we sometimes forget the human aspect of the parents of Jesus and all of the challenges they faced.
And we then see the blessed couple rejected upon arriving in Bethlehem for the census. In our study verse above, there was no room for them in the inn (likely meaning a guest room – the same Greek word Luke used here, katalyma, he used to describe the room Jesus and the apostles would gather for the Passover meal where He instituted the Lord’s Supper in ), and instead were shuttled to where the animals were kept, and she gave birth there.
Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He will face rejection time and again. In this, He provides a perfect model for us. Consider those in his own hometown, who thought he was just a carpenter’s son (), and were ready to throw Him over a cliff (Luke 28-29). His reaction? To move on and continue His mission. He would be further rejected by the Jewish elders, and even by His own family, who thought Him out of His mind ().
Throughout history and to this very day, people reject Jesus as the Son of God. It takes me back to why I chose the name of my blog, The Narrow Road, because of the rejection by so many and how He acknowledged this fact in . As a Christian, it saddens me that there are those around me who will not accept Him as Lord and Savior over their lives, knowing what it means for their eternity. Yet, I must stand my faith and proclaim it boldly wherever I go.
Matthew 7:13–14 ESV
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
We all face rejection from our fellow man in one form or another throughout our lives. Sometimes it’s because of our faith, and other times it’s not. Either way, it can be heartbreaking. If we can learn anything from our Savior and how He dealt with rejection, we should see that although rejection will occur in this temporal earthly existence, we need only take comfort knowing that The One who matters most died for us and will never reject us.
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