Rejection from the Very Beginning

Luke 2:7 (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 (Luke 1:26-38), 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.

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 (Matthew 1:19-20), did not accuse Mary of adultery, keeping her from being stoned.

One can only imagine though the looks of contempt and disdain Mary endured—a teenager 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 Luke 22:11), 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 (Mark 6:3), and were ready to throw Him over a cliff (Luke 4:28-29). 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 (Mark 3:21).

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 Matthew 7:13-14. 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. Thus, I must stand my faith and proclaim it boldly wherever I go, hoping to be a pebble in someone's shoe.

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, it never prevented Him from communion with His Father or the mission He was called to do. Nor should it us.

We need only take comfort knowing that The One who matters most died for us and will never reject us.