The hit television series “The Chosen,” portrays the moment Jesus was rejected in his hometown in a light that all humans could relate to in our modern world today. Even if 2,000 years have gone by, the hurt and pain of rejection by those you love and trust most is a sting that never changes over time.
Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in the series talks about the scene where Jesus returns to Nazareth.
“There are flashbacks to Jesus while he was a kid,” Roumie says in the video posted on “The Chosen” YouTube.
For thousands of years, the Jews in Nazareth went to the synagogue to listen to the reading of the Torah. The Scriptures came alive in their hearts as they heard about a Messiah, the very Son of God who would be coming.
When Jesus returns to His hometown He goes to the synagogue He likely grew up in and reads the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He announces the Scripture they’ve been reading for hundreds of years had been fulfilled before their very eyes.
“He’s confronted by His community. The phrase ‘prophet is never excepted in his own town’ stems from what happens in this episode,” Roumie says.
The people He grew up with, and spent his life working with betrayed him at that moment. They rejected Him so badly that they were ready to throw Him off a cliff.
In “The Chosen” episode, the rabbi Jesus grew up learning from was one of those trying to drive Him off the cliff.
“For me, it’s like trying to imagine what it’s like to grow with this teacher all your life and now he’s trying to kill you. In Scripture, it says Jesus passed through them so we interpret that, ‘Jesus says no, this is not going to happen. Not today.’ So He kind of steps up to them looks them in the eye and says ‘not today,'” Roumie says.
The news of Jesus and the miracles following Him was circulating across Nazareth. The people in other areas were welcoming and honoring Him. But when He went to a synagogue, surrounded by the very people He knew the deepest, He was going to them in the role of the Messiah now.
Jesus wasn’t coming before His friends and relatives as a companion but as the Savior of the world. Held within His hands were the promises of God, a hope of eternal life, healing for the sick and deliverance for the bound. But, they didn’t want it.
These were people so desperate for the Messiah, and there He was standing right before them. So how did everything turn around so badly for Jesus?
The Jews in Nazareth wanted proof that He was the Messiah. Jesus, knowing what they were thinking says in Luke 4:23, “You will surely say to Me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal Yourself. Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.”
Jesus continues in verse 24, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.”
Their hearts were hardened and filled with pride toward Jesus. They knew He had performed the miracles in Capernaum which was just a town away. Surely there were plenty of eyewitnesses to testify to the miracles Jesus had been performing. The issue wasn’t believing what was happening it was accepting their own need for a Savior.
Jesus was giving them an opportunity to see they were broken people in need of saving. They didn’t want to lay down their pride. Why would God choose Jesus? A boy who grew up around them, who they ate with, played with and learned with. Why Him?
Rejection is something everyone faces at one point or another. You may have the favor of God on your life and those closest to you are riddled with jealousy and pride. Sin is an evil and dark poison that will infect the deepest places within you if you aren’t careful. You may be blessed financially and ridiculed by those closest to you about how you chose to spend your money even if you have surrendered all you have to God.
Rejection is painful and it hurts, especially when you are rejected by your closest companions and relatives. There is hope. You have a Savior who knows what rejection feels like. He left the throne room to become the seed inside of a woman. He went from a place of great honor to the lowliest most vulnerable place on earth, a fetus forming inside of a human being.
He chose to live a life on earth. Learning to talk, learning to walk, facing loneliness and pain so that you could be saved. Jesus knows the greatest depths of what the pain of rejection feels like. If you are facing rejection today go to Jesus the one who identifies with you in your pain. He can and will heal every wound and fill you with joy unspeakable.
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Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.