On the Outside Looking In
Bible Reading: Mark 6:1-6
A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family. Mark 6:4
Logan was chubby and brainy. His classmate Olivia was even more chubby and brainy. Unfortunately, their classmates liked to make fun of them.
When Logan and Olivia showed up hand in hand at the last school party of the year, the kids snickered. And when they both tripped and spilled their lemonade, the crowd exploded. Olivia grabbed Logan by the hand and snorted, “Come, Logan. Let’s go!” The laughter continued as Logan bumped into the door and dragged Olivia to the ground with him.
Unless you are a very cruel person, you probably feel sad for Logan and Olivia. You might not have the same problems they do, but at some time you may have felt unwanted, unloved, and unwelcomed.
You might think that Jesus never faced that kind of rejection. But the people of this planet had put up a sign for Jesus, the Son of God, that said, “You don’t belong here.” The apostle John put it bluntly: “Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted” (John 1:11). Jesus was also unwanted by the people of Nazareth, the town where he grew up (see Mark 6).
When you’re a Christian, you have to get ready for some rejection. Jesus didn’t leave any doubts that at times the world would snub—even hate-his followers: “I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you” (John 15:19). It isn’t tough to figure out what rejection looks like in our world:
• When you refuse to tease a classmate who doesn’t fit in, your buddies might cross you off their list of friends.
• When you won’t mess around after the teacher leaves the room, your friends might kick you out in the cold.
• When you won’t cheat to get a better score, you might be minus some study partners.
Your loyalty, purity, honesty, and dependability as a Christian will make some people laugh at you just as some of Logan and Olivia’s peers laughed at them.
But there’s better news. Jesus promised a special blessing for his rejected followers (see Matthew 5:11-12). If you take a stand for what’s right, you’re in line for eternally significant rewards.
TALK: As a Christian, you are guaranteed to face rejection. What makes it worth it?
PRAY: God, make us strong even when people make fun of our faith.
ACT: Do you coast along, hiding the fact that you’re a Christian so that no one will make fun of you? How would you like to change that habit?