“Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” (John 13:20)
Here is an awesome statement of fact and encouragement for the followers of Jesus. We actually go forth with our life of witness as though we were Jesus Himself. Jesus makes this statement in the midst of His words revealing that there is one among the disciples that is going to betray Him. It is a powerful message in that context. There was one among them who did not accept Jesus and there would be more who would not accept Him, as they would not accept the witness of His disciples.
We don’t really like to identify with the rejection Jesus experienced. We don’t like rejection and to be rejected as we live for Him can be hard to take. Yet, we walk on through that rejection because of the One who walks with us. No amount of rejection or persecution will be able to turn us away from Jesus. And in that, we are also ushered into God the Father’s presence. In the end, we know that our witness will be accepted by many. Our lives will be lights in the world, bringing others into Jesus’ presence.
Heavenly Father, open the hearts and minds of those we come into contact with so that they accept us as channels to accepting Jesus. May they confess His presence in their lives for saving faith. Help us by Your Spirit to not be discourage by any resistance but to go on with assurance that we are being used by You, even if we are not aware of it.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.