We all experience being welcomed and being rejected. Welcoming and rejecting may influence our feelings and the outlook for the future. A person experiences too much rejection eventually looses confidence and self esteem while a person who has no experience in failure often ends up overconfidence and lacks compassion for those who try hard and not achieve.
Being welcomed or rejected can sometimes change our future but most of them come and go without leaving any trace in our life. No one in this world had more experiences in being rejected like the man Jesus. It began before His birth and went on years after His death and resurrection. It started within his family and then extended to relatives and friends, including villagers where he grew up. His own people denounced Him as a mad man. His government wanted to crucify Him as a public criminal. The rejection Jesus experienced is not confined within His own country but spread worldwide. It lasts much longer than His life on earth. In fact, it lasts century after century and probably till the end of time. The authorities publicly denounced his existence, refused to believe in His teaching. They distorted His miracles and rejected the love He offered to the world. They disliked Him so much that they went on to hate those who love Him. They put them in prison. They persecuted and executed those who believe in Him and promote His love for the world. Those who love Jesus glorify them as martyrs. A democracy society made up rules to stop us displaying His message of love in public.
Jesus became the hot topics that many biblical scholars gained their name worldwide for defending Him. Their names linked to the rhetoric and famous sayings. Theologians who were defending Him also became known to the world; while biblical writers who attacked Him were promoted and received better pay for defiling Him.
Mary was the first person denied to welcome Jesus in her life. When the messenger of God appeared to Mary she refused to accept the proposal to be mother of God. Joseph he spouse also questioned His existence before they moved in to live together. Joseph intended to leave Marry quietly. The baby Jesus had not yet been born and yet both Mary and Joseph refused to welcome Him. He became the unwanted baby. The unwanted baby becomes the Saviour for the world. King Herod also wanted to eliminate Him.
During His public ministry Jesus had experienced even more rejection. His own villagers questioned one another about His wisdom and knowledge, His teaching and the power to heal. They questioned not to learn but to reject and stopped Him from entering His own village. The Temples authority became His opponents. They made claims that He was the prince of evil and that enabled Him to control evil spirit. Some of His audiences had challenged Him about His language saying his language was too harsh for their ears. The civil authority who was supposed to judge Him refused to get involved. He washed his hands declared I am innocent of this man's blood. The last few hours of His life on earth the denouncing of Him never stopped but increased even more fervent. The criminal that hang next to Him on the cross abused Him. Soldiers who carried out the execution that were standing underneath the cross mocked Him. The passersby's ridiculed Him saying he saves others but can't save himself.
Today we know that those who welcome Him as God and God' Son, He rewards them eternal life and their names registered worldwide forever. Mary welcomed Him to be Mother of God. Joseph welcomed Him to be the just man. The shepherd who welcomed Him found great joy. The wise men welcomed Him and found real peace and became people of good will. The good thief welcomed Him and entered paradise. The two apostles on the road to Emmaus welcomed Him and learnt He is their Lord, the risen Christ.
We learn to welcome Jesus into our lives in order to become children of God and heirs of the kingdom