“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3 NIV
We hardly read this verse before we jump off to the next two verses, 4 and 5, which are more popular. I made an intentional decision to stick on verse 3 today no matter how much I’m tempted to jump to the next one. The reason being, this verse carries as much weight as any other scripture. I want to see God on this verse.
The moment I decided to stay on it, a word “rejected” popped up. Do you see how God shows Himself when we chose to diligently seek His face?
When I read that word, I paused. I asked myself “what’s like to be rejected?”
Have you ever been rejected? Take a minute to think through this even if it never happened to you. And if you’ve never been rejected, then most likely you are playing safe. Any risk-taker, someone who doesn’t fear of anything, has one way or the other been rejected. Not being rejected even once in your life tells us you have been comfortable for way too long. It’s time to start taking on things.
Jesus came to His own people and they despised Him. They rejected Him. How did He felt? He could have given up and told His Father–forget it. “Let them go to hell. We will create new people.” But He didn’t put forth such proposal. Instead, He loved them to the end. He went on the cross for them. He did it even though His closest disciples like Peter, denied Him. Yes, He carried Peter’s sin (and the sins of the world) and crucified them on the cross.
This verse is tough to swallow. I cannot imagine what Jesus went through but I know rejection hurts. One of the reason people don’t step forward in life or they do not embrace change is because of fear of rejection. We all want to be validated. We want to be accepted.
Someone like me, a girl next door, I may be afraid to be rejected by one person or a few people, but Isaiah tells us that Jesus was rejected by mankind. That means the whole world. Even today, 2,000 years later, people are still rejecting Jesus Christ despite all the Good News they have heard.
History, science, and geography proved that He was the Son of God. But people would rather trust themselves or other men than the Son of God. Albert Einstein and Seneca are more acceptable than Jesus Christ. But those men are laying in their tombs somewhere waiting for the judgment day like every other human being. Jesus is the only one who is living and sharper than any two-edged sword.
You can handle any kind of rejection knowing Jesus was also rejected by men and He overcame the world. If you keep your eyes on Him, you will never again fear of being rejecting.
Apart from rejection, Isaiah went on to say “He was despised.” That is a strong word. Even with all of our rebellious behaviors, God never despised us. He did the opposite. He loved us. Yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Rom 5:13).
To despise another human being who was created in the image of God is simply to despise God. And to despise someone also displays what kind of a person you are. The problem is not the person you are despising, the problem is you, the despiser.
When someone is carrying deep anger, shallow anger, or any type of anger, rage, they need to understand that’s a torment from the devil. It needs to be dealt with quickly. I remember how painful it was when I used to be angry. You can feel your organs being affected.
Proverbs 17:22 says”A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Anger is the result of a crushed spirit. So when you are carrying it around, your bones are drying up. Get rid of it quickly before it gets rid of you.
Jesus knew this. He had our medicine in His body. That’s why He had go to the cross and crucify the pain we were carrying. Isaiah says He was “a man of suffering and familiar with pain.” Jesus was fully God and fully man. He stripped down His majesty and splendor and took a lowly position for our sake. The Bible says we have a “High Priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses because He was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Hebrews 4:15.
Jesus understood our pain. He went through them like we do except He never sinned. He was familiar with what we are going through. When He was despised and rejected He knew the only cure for that was to carry them on the cross.
God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him 2 Corinthians 5:21. In other words, it was a sweet exchange: I gave Him my sins, He gave me His righteousness. I am now called the righteousness of God. I’m even called holy even though I have had hard-time rolling those words on my tongue. But that’s how God sees me. That’s what He calls me and since He is my Father, I’m gonna roll with it–slapping 👋 Satan’s face.
Isaiah closes this verse writing “we held Him in low esteem.”
See, it’s one thing to feel low self-esteem yourself and another thing people holding you low self-esteem. If you ever get a chance to read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and follow the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, you will notice–He was not a “low esteem” type of guy.
He was humble which is a virtue. We all could use humility but He had no single low-esteem bone in His body. If anything, He spoke with authority. He was bold. He knew where He came from, what He was doing and where He was going. He gave the Pharisee and Sadducee a run for their money.
He had no low self-esteem at all but people held Him low self-esteem especially the Pharisee and Sadducee because they were considered highly educated in that society. Jesus was just a carpenter and poorly educated man, however, he amazed everyone with wisdom and knowledge because the Spirit of God was with Him.
Looking down on people doesn’t make you smart. If anything it displays your insecurities and ignorance. This goes hand in hand with those who think are racially superior and other boxes society likes to group people. It doesn’t hurt the person you are discriminating rather it hurts you, the discriminator.
People in Jesus’ own town held Him low self-esteem as a result, He couldn’t do many miracles for them. He healed people, raised the dead and turn water into wine elsewhere except in His own town because of their stupidity.
Brush off when someone underestimates you. You are highly esteemed by your Father who is in heaven. Mere mortals can do nothing to you. If God says “you are holy” then you are holy. If He says “I am pleased with you” then pleasing Him is all that matters. Be like Jesus. Ignore noises and do what you were called to do.
What kind of storm are you going through today? Maybe you have lost your loved one as a result of Las Vegas’ mass shooting. Maybe your husband left you for another woman. Maybe you are homeless because of the recent hurricane epidemic. You may be having legal problems. May you have got a scary doctor’s report.
You are not alone. Everybody goes through storms. Jesus didn’t promise that our lives will be better roses because we became Christians. The devil despises us. There will some sharp thorns growing with those beautiful roses. But He said, “take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Storms will teach us how to depend on God. When you go through a storm you know it is a test. You can’t have a testimony without a test. So when you go through a storm now, you get a reservoir you can draw from because when the next storm comes, you can say “devil you may have caused the wind to blow but last time you did Jesus got me through and I know He will do again.”
Freely you receive freely give!