“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.”
Have you ever felt rejected because of your faith? Have you ever been avoided, felt left out, or even outright rejected, for the simple reason that you are a Christian? This happens to most dedicated Christians at one time or another, and Jesus wants you to know that when you are rejected by others or shown hostility because of your beliefs, you are not the one being rejected. Even though it feels like a personal attack, that hostility is actually being directed towards Jesus – not you. He is the One who is being rejected. Never forget that.
So, how do we respond when faced with such attitudes? That’s when we need to follow the example of Jesus. When you are rejected due to your devotion to Christ, respond just as Jesus did when He was rejected by the world and hanging on the cross. “Father, forgive them,” Jesus said. “They don’t understand what they’re doing” (my paraphrase). If you want to see something that is unique about Christianity over every other religion, remember what Jesus did on that cross.
Are you willing to follow Jesus with this level of commitment? Will you love those who hate you? Will you forgive them? Pray for them? Think of the thousands of Christian missionaries all over the world who daily put their lives on the line to follow Jesus. All we’re talking about here is being courageous enough to do it in our own neighborhoods and schools. Are you willing?
Are you sure?