Rejection Isn’t Failure

Read: Luke 10:10-12

The kingdom of God has come near. (v. 11)

Most people love affirmation and fear rejection. That’s why Facebook and Instagram have a button for “like” but not for “dislike.” Posting on social media involves risk. Others might not like us. Rejection feels personal. It’s also why we might be cautious in sharing our faith. We want our neighbors and colleagues to know the hope Jesus offers, but the fear of rejection can mute our witness. If that describes you, today’s Bible reading offers encouragement.

Jesus acknowledges that some won’t receive those he sends or the peace they bring. They won’t even be offered a meal! When this kind of rejection happens, they’re to wipe the dust from their feet as a sign of judgment (v. 11). I’m not quite sure how that would play out in our communities, but notice that they’re still to speak the same words as to those who do receive them, “The kingdom of God has come near” (vv. 9, 11). Whether someone receives the kingdom or rejects the kingdom doesn’t change the fact that the kingdom has come near.

This should encourage us in our own witness. If others reject the message, they’re not rejecting us but the one who sends us: Jesus. The mission isn’t about us. It’s about Jesus. And by saying “the kingdom of God has come near” Jesus implies that the kingdom shows up through our presence in his mission. What a joyful responsibility! We’re ambassadors for Christ. Let’s get to it.

As you pray, ask God for courage to share the gospel.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Sent: Preparing for Mission Trips