Jesus Didn’t Come to Win a Popularity Contest

Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” – Mark 6:4

Screaming girls greet the Jonas Brothers. Albert Pujols collected 5,397,374 votes to play first base for the National League in the All-Star game. Pastor Rick Warren greets 20,000 people in his Saddleback Church each Sunday.

Nazareth, Jesus’ home village, rejected him. No more than a few hundred people lived there. Outsiders insulted Jesus by calling him the “Nazarene.” Yet even at home he had no respect.

Many of us pursue a life that has meaning only if others think well of us. We search for self-esteem from the opinions and comments made by colleagues, friends or family members. Good words lift us up. Insults hurt deeply.

If Jesus had come to this world only to win a popularity contest, his mission would have failed. If he depended on the good opinion of other people to get through the day, he would have quit soon after he first proclaimed, “The kingdom of God is near.”

Jesus’ mission transcended the opinions and comments of the world. Even if no one had ever said a good word about him; if no one had come when he said, “Follow me;” even if no one had trusted a word he spoke, still he set his face like flint to complete his mission.

We praise Jesus for not allowing our sinful hearts and attitudes to deter him from rescuing this world of sinners. For enduring the cross for our sins, he received his honor when God the Father raised him from the dead.

In Jesus Christ our lives have value every moment, no matter what anyone else thinks of us. Enjoy the pleasure of his friendship even if all others forsake you.

Prayer: Blessed Jesus, give us your humble spirit to accept the rejection of the world and never deny you. Lift us up in your forgiving love to rejoice in proclaiming your Name in the midst of our enemies. Amen.

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