That’s kind of an ugly topic isn’t it? I don’t like it either. Jesus warned us about it, but its easier to read about than to experience. I’m at the vantage point that I’m taking note of how many times Jesus talks about being rejected and how He was rejected, even by the people of His hometown. He tries to give us strength and encouragement, while giving us warning that His followers will get the same treatment.
When I used to think about Jesus’ rejection, I had always thought that it was the worldly and all the “Bad” people that mistreated Him. Still, now I look at who He really quarreled with, who taunted, schemed behind His back and sought to quiet Him. It wasn’t the Romans or Gentiles. It was the religious elite of that time. Those who dressed just right, spoke eloquently and hung around the other self proclaimed righteous. The elite that had things set up just the way they wanted it and all that Jesus stuff was really rocking their boat. It was more important who you were on their social ladder to them and that they could pick and choose whoever they wanted to have around them.
2000 years later and nothing has changed. The elites are still in charge and all that Jesus stuff better not get in the way of the people in control. The social club is for making the elites look good. If someone starts taking the Bible too seriously, the scheming begins. We have elders, councils and committees to keep the elite in power and more importantly, to keep the outsiders out.
Luke 10:16 ” He who hears you, hears me, He who rejects you, rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me”
I can’t help but wonder how long it would take for many of our elitist American churches to bounce Jesus out. Maybe He would sing too loud, or raise His hands and study His Bible or even (gasp!) have a tattoo! Maybe social time would find Him talking about His father or teaching and smiling while He did it. Maybe Holy Scripture would be more important than whoever brought cookies or His common lowly attire. Even God couldn’t help Him if He fell out of grace with the social committee (oops, council). Jesus would have to be placed away from people, marginalized and belittled until He got the hint and left. His only chance to hide is at Bible studies or worship nights that are too insignificant for the church elite to attend. Now, with that Jesus stuff gone, the committees can go back to work finding more paying members of the church and pondering why people aren’t rushing into the church to be in the presence of the Holy Council! Can you hear the crickets? Yup!
I’ll admit it, I don’t know how to handle those things. Jesus always knew the right thing to do, and I don’t. My response is to get mad, but I don’t think that’s always right. Jesus would never conform to manmade social structure. His favorite people were the ones that the church elite rejected. Nope, conforming isn’t an option. Just cut and run? I wish I knew the answer. I know the world doesn’t know and since Jesus is my gracious King, I suppose the answer has to be in my Bible. Scripture has never let me down, but left to my own thoughts, I will certainly do the wrong thing. Being a Christian shouldn’t be this hard, but Jesus warned believers that it would be . Why aren’t we filled with joy like the persecuted church in the middle east or China? I guess its the difference between American church goers and true believers ready to die for Jesus. Death and poverty are all around them. We are so unworthy to be on the same planet as those folks. They know the real love for our Savior, not that poser social club that many of us experience. That must be why we give coins to missions, but don’t want to learn about the people and their unshakeable faith. They just aren’t sanitary enough and guilt isn’t the warm fuzzy emotion that we demand. Please don’t think that I’m picking on a single church or denomination, but don’t think that I’m excluding any church from this disease either. I guess I’m just as guilty in that when a church council agrees with me, I think they’re wonderful. Only when I’m the target do I get upset. I sure am. Pray for me friends, I really need it this week. I need Jesus’ wisdom to handle things in a way that glorifies Him.
May Almighty God have mercy on us all.