Have you ever been rejected? You know – you aspired to something that you really wanted, and they turned you down. No fun, is it?
Our Lord was rejected by the Jewish leadership. He didn’t measure up to their standards, so He couldn’t be a part of their group. They simply rejected Him! Isaiah expressed it this way in Isaiah 53:3: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
The Hebrew word translated “despised” here is used two times in this verse. Now in the English, the word despised carries with it a lot of emotion. It has the idea of belittling or holding in contempt. But the Hebrew word, despised, lacks the emotion. It simply means “to consider something or someone to be worthless or unworthy of attention.” Our Lord was simply dismissed. He was written off as inconsequential – unworthy of attention.
I remember on one occasion dealing with a man who was trying to make trouble. He had written a scathing letter against someone in our church, and he had labeled me as a liar. Everything within me wanted to nail this guy to the wall. But our church leadership decided on a different course of action. We ignored him. We didn’t try to answer his letter and we didn’t dignify his insults by arguing with him. We simply treated him as though he didn’t exist. And it worked. He finally gave up on us and went away.
Now that’s what people did with Jesus. But He didn’t go away. In fact, when his popularity began to grow, they couldn’t ignore Him any longer and their initial passivity took on a more aggressive and hostile nature. He was “despised and rejected of men (KJV).”
Say – we don’t despise Jesus, we adore Him – He’s our Savior!