Jesus’ life and work always sparked intense reactions, some people were drawn to Him, others were angered by Him. This pattern continues today. To really understand who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him, we need to understand why He was so controversial. This passage shows us that Jesus can be hard to accept, why that’s the case, and how we, as His followers, can approach these challenges.
1. Jesus is hard to accept
Jesus’ teachings and actions can be difficult for everyone, no matter their background. For example, Western society might like the idea of grace and forgiveness, but struggle with Jesus’ claim that He’s the only way to God. On the other hand, traditional cultures might struggle with Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness and non-retaliation. If we want to accept Jesus as God’s risen Son, we have to be ready to accept parts of His message that make us uncomfortable.
2. Why Jesus is hard to accept
In “The Scandal of Jesus,” we explore why Jesus’ ordinariness is challenging for people. It shows us that salvation is about God redeeming and renewing everyday life, not just some spiritual realm. This can be a hard pill to swallow because it challenges our pride, but if we’re offended by Jesus, it might mean we’re starting to understand His offer of salvation.
3. What does this mean for us?
As Christians, we have a responsibility to share Jesus’ message, even when it’s rejected. Early Christians were known for their love and service, but also for their belief that Jesus was the only way to God. We need to find a balance in communicating Jesus’ message respectfully, while also acknowledging that it can be hard for people to accept. But even when we face rejection, we can take comfort in knowing that we belong to God’s family.