I was reading John chapter 12 today in the Message translation when I got to verses 47-48, where Jesus says this: “If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection.”
Jesus says that he doesn’t reject anybody. But some people reject him.
I look at the infinite patience Jesus had for people who were leading corrupt or broken lives. I wondered how Jesus did that. How could he show such mercy and grace to people that were living in a manner completely opposite to what God had called them to?
I think it’s because they never rejected him. You never see a prostitute or thief or leper that Jesus forgives or heals telling him off; questioning whether he is sent by God.
The people who rejected him were the ones who didn’t think Jesus had the right to forgive and even heal. They didn’t take him seriously. Those were the ones who Jesus had to confront and combat regularly.
It’s very easy to see fault in other people’s lives. But when our response stops being compassion and acceptance, I think we become people who don’t take Jesus seriously.