You'd think doing the right thing would be easy. Everyone would encourage. None oppose.
But Jesus’ life shows this isn’t true!
Our Teacher faced violent hostility from infancy to the cross! Herod tried to kill Him. Religious leaders plotted His death. Pilate authorized the final blow.
He was despised and rejected my men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief!
The student will not be above His Teacher in this regard. Here Jesus bluntly warns His students about the kinds of rejection they also must face.
It doesn’t seem fair – this tug of war - as we attempt to do the right thing and others pull in the opposite direction. Isn’t it enough that we sometimes wrestle with our own human nature?
Yet, there it is. He warns that religious leaders may oppose! Hostile governments and even members of our own family may be against us.
Yet with these risks come the Teacher’s comforting promises.
He says don’t be anxious about what to do when you’re opposed. You’re not alone. The Spirit of God is within you!
He reminds us of a reward at the end of life if we don’t give up or give in. He should know. That’s how it worked out for Him.
Finally, the most encouraging words of all! Our Teacher tells us that when we suffer rejection we are following in His own footsteps.
Perhaps in times of rejection it is enough to know – even in this – we are like the Teacher.