OceanSide church of Christ
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THE REJECTION OF THE KING
Victor M. Eskew
A. The prophets of old had foretold of the coming of a king. The Jews were in great anticipation of a messiah (Matt. 2:4-6).
B. Their King came in the form a baby born in a stable in the small city of Bethlehem.
C. The first thirty years of His life were live in almost total obscurity in the city of Nazareth.
D. The voice of John the Baptist broke the silence of the prophetic void.
1. He announced that the Messiah was coming (Mark 1:6-8).
And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
2. He fulfilled the prophesies spoken of him, saying: Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me (Mal. 3:1).
E. Jesus began His ministry immediately following His baptism and His temptation in the wilderness.
1. Just think, the King was here.
2. Surely the masses would flock to Him.
3. Such was not the case at all. Ultimately, He was rejected by all but a handful of individuals.
F. We want to examine this rejection in this lesson. Our title is: “The Rejection of the King.”
I. THE REJECTION BY THE WORLD
A. John 1:10
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
B. We are disappointed by this, but we are not too surprised.
1. When Adam and Eve yielded to Satan in the Garden of Eden, sin entered into the world. Satan, too, became the god of this world.
2. The world was wooed by the evil one. Darkness permeated the earth that had been created by the Son of God.
3. The world despised the light of the King of glory.
a. John 1:5
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
b. John 3:19-20
And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
II. THE REJECTION BY THE JEWS
A. At Mt. Sinai, God called out the Jews unto Himself. He gave them the Law of Moses that separated them from all other nations.
B. For several hundred years, God had prepared His people for the coming King. Yet, when He came, they, too, rejected Him.
C. John 1:11
He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
D. The Jews rejected the Christ because of ignorance.
1. They failed to realize their King would be the Son of God.
2. They did not comprehend the fact that the kingdom the King was to establish was spiritual and not physical in nature.
E. Their blindness continued well into the first century. Paul wrote of it in II Corinthians 3:14-15.
But their minds were blinded: for unto this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament, which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
III. REJECTION BY THE JEWISH LEADERS
A. The Jewish nation was one that was overseen by highly trained spiritual men. They were the priests, lawyers, scribes, and rabbis of the day.
B. As the well-educated in the dictates of the law, these men should have been the first to recognize and receive the Christ. They, however, rejected Him more vehemently than the ignorant masses.
C. Their reasons for rejecting Jesus appear to have at least 3 causes.
2. Steeped in man-made traditions
D. That last reason seems to have outweighed all of the others.
1. It was what would ultimately cause them to bring Jesus unto Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:10).
For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy.
2. Envy drives man to take from another what the envious cannot have for himself.
a. Yes, the heart is evil. It is lustful and craves what another has.
b. Since, however, the envious cannot have those things, he acts in evil ways against the one he envies.
c. Proverbs 27:4
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
IV. REJECTION BY HIS FOLLOWERS
A. At one point in His ministry, Jesus had multitudes that followed Him.
1. Some appreciated His authority (Matt. 7:28-29).
2. Some were drawn by His simplicity (Matt. 13:10-17).
3. Other were drawn by the provisions Jesus gave (John 6:26).
B. Jesus’ teaching was not always palatable to his hearers.
1. After hearing one of His lessons, His followers made this comment: This is a hard saying; who can hear it? (John 6:60).
2. John 6:66 informs us of the ultimate reaction of the disciples, rejection.
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
V. REJECTION BY JUDAS
A. Jesus had twelve specially chosen men who were His apostles (Mat. 10:2-4).
1. These men lived with Jesus daily.
2. These men heard His words and saw His miracles.
3. They were empowered by Him with miraculous abilities.
B. One of them turned on the Lord. We all know him as Judas Iscariot.
1. The psalmist had foretold it (Ps. 41:9).
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
2. What would cause Judas to do such a thing?
a. The simple answer is greed, covetousness, materialism.
b. Thirty pieces of silver were so tempting that Judas just could not turn them down (Matt. 25:14-16).
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
C. Judas’ opportunity came in Gethsemane. His ultimate betrayal came when he informed the mob of Jesus’ identity by a kiss (Luke 22:47-48).
VI. REJECTION BY THE OTHER APOSTLES
A. We were extremely hard on Judas because of his greedy betrayal.
B. The fact is, however, the time came when all of Jesus apostles forsook Him.
1. Judas led the mob to Jesus.
2. He betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
3. Peter sought to defend Jesus with violence, but was stopped by the Lord.
4. When Jesus yielded to the mob, the disciples fled (Matt. 26:56b). Fear overcame their faith.
Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.
VII. REJECTION BY THE ROMAN COURT
A. Jesus’ trail before the Jews led to conviction.
B. The Jews took Jesus to Pilate to carry out the death sentence.
C. Two things about Pilate.
1. Pilate knew why the Jews had brought Jesus to him.
2. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent (Matt. 27:24).
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
a. Pilate referred to Jesus as a “just person.”
b. He should have released Jesus and told the crowds to go home.
D. Pilate allowed fear to get the best of him. His fear brought injustice to the courts and an innocent man lost His life.
A. Let’s think again about why all of those individuals rejected the King.
1. The world loved their darkness, their sin and corruption.
2. The Jews were ignorant.
3. The religious leaders were envious.
4. The disciples would not bear the difficult teachings of Jesus.
5. Judas rejected Jesus out of greed.
6. The apostles and Pilate forsook Jesus out of fear.
B. Men still reject the Christ today. Often the reasons are identical to those of old.
C. It is possible for those who are the closest to Him to reject him. Judas did. The apostles did.
D. My friends, the few who do not reject Him are going to find blessings beyond their wildest comprehension (John 1:12-13).
But as many as receive him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.