He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Luke 9:22

The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

The word “rejected” is found 29 times in the Authorized Version and is translated from various words in the Old Testament and New. It is a somber word and significant. Isaiah captures the pathos associated with the rejection of Jesus.

Rejection requires one of two actions. It is either the product of unthinking selfishness and pride, or it is the result of careful consideration. These are irreconcilable opposites arriving at the same conclusion.

Ignorant selfishness and pride often end in the loss of something very valuable. The unfortunate one so enslaved is too dull of mind to recognize anything but his own prejudiced path. He follows that path off a cliff to a rocky death because he rejected both warnings and alternate pathways. It is tragic and cannot be resolved by shouting those warnings more loudly.

Even more tragic is the rejection which is the result of careful consideration. Proof is turned in the hand first one way and then the next but is finally cast aside because it did not fit the paradigm of the investigator. The process is different, but the tragic results are the same.

Isaiah seems to describe the unthinking ignorance which resulted in cruelty. Luke describes the disdain of evidence so compelling that it required violence to silence it.

John 20:25

But he [Thomas] said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

27 Then saith he [Jesus] to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

Lord, give wisdom to those who cannot grasp who you are and give grace to those who will not grasp who you are. AMEN

The Backside of the Pulpit