Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
- Luke 23:34
Have you ever felt rejected before? Of course you have; we all have! Sometimes we get rejected by that girl/guy, sometimes we feel rejected by our friends because they don’t want us around, sometimes we get rejected from a team by not making the cut at tryouts, sometimes we even can feel rejected by our parents.
Rejection is such a common feeling that Jesus himself even felt it. In Luke 23, after Jesus was arrested, the people rejected him by demanding that his punishment be death. Even though he didn’t do anything wrong, the crowds yelled, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (see Luke 23:21). What’s interesting in this story was Jesus’ response to rejection. Instead of getting upset or seeking revenge, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (see Luke 23:34).
How do you normally react to rejection? If you’re like most people, you get mad or sad. Maybe you even seek revenge. But Jesus didn’t do that. He chose to forgive the people that had rejected him. We all know that he chose to forgive them because that’s what we’re supposed to do; be kind and forgive people! But, how did he do it? How was he able to choose forgiveness in the face of rejection?
Here’s how: Jesus knew that even when he felt rejected, God still loved him. Because he understood this, Jesus was able to extend that love and forgiveness to others. And it’s the same for us today. When you feel rejected, God still loves you. When you understand that, it becomes possible to stay in peace and love those who have rejected you.
- When is the last time you felt rejected?
- How do you normally react to rejection?
- How does knowing that God loves you help you deal with rejection?
Matthew 5:44; Romans 5:8; John 3:16