Tall poppy syndrome
Isaiah 53: 3 & John 1: 11
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
A prophet is without honour in his own country. Jesus was rejected by his own people because they did not recognise the Messiah in him and they were angered by his claims. As far as they were concerned, he did not fulfil their expectations of a Messiah. He didn’t restore the kingdom of David, he didn’t gather the scattered peoples of Israel, he didn’t rebuild the temple, and he didn’t restore all the ancient laws. He claimed to have a special relationship with God, and the Jews believed that everyone is equal before God. He offered people forgiveness for sin, which of course only God could do. He demanded that loyalty to himself and God should come before family ties. For the Jews the family was of paramount importance. Finally, he broke the law. He healed people on the Sabbath, and this went against the Rabbinic code which stated that the Sabbath could only be broken for the saving of life. His people did not believe his claims. But the stone which the builders rejected turned out to be most important of all, and, despite everything, he did not hold it against them but forgave them.
His followers too were rejected on his account and suffered for their faith. Have you ever been rejected because of what you believe? How did you react?
Jesus thank you for your great love
which forgives, not seven times,
but seventy times seven,
and that’s just for starters!
Thank you that you have given us the eyes of faith,
that we can see what has been hidden from others.
Thank you that you have opened the eyes of our hearts
and planted within us love for you.
May our love grow and increase
that we may always follow in your footsteps
regardless of how that is received
and may we take that love out to others. Amen.