Sunday, October 13, 2013


I'm reflecting on rejection this morning. You know, God is able to use everything in our experience - even the stuff we thought was nothing but heartache - to give us spiritual insight into larger situations than our personal experience. Francis Frangipane has a saying that whatever bad happens to you in your life will either make you bitter or better. It is all in how you process the bad stuff that happens.

Many times the bad stuff happens to us before we come to faith in Yeshua/Jesus. In that case, we may process rejection reasonably well but it is highly unlikely that we will process it the God-way if we do not really know God.  God's way is to maintain a rule of walking in peace with all persons as much as it is within our power, and to forgive from the heart even as we have been forgiven by Him.  To do that, we not only have to have a profession of faith in Jesus, we really need to get hold of what He is saving us from!

The parable of Matthew 18 about the servant and the Master who forgave his debt, only to see the servant NOT forgive the debts others owed him, has become a pivotal understanding in my life because it speaks to what happens to us when we know the LORD, but we continue to hold onto the"debts" that people owe us. These debts are assignments of blame against others - sometimes true,sometimes not - for bad things in our lives.

The point of the parable is that after we have been forgiven by God through Yeshua/Jesus, our "deal" with God is that we cannot harbor unforgiveness toward others anymore or we will bring all manner of torments into our lives.  Most believers do not believe this, yet that is exactly the point of the Matthew 18 parable.Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

So we can look at this from an individual standpoint and we can also look at it from a corporate standpoint.  Since my ministry is concerned with the Body of Messiah in Israel, I see that REJECTION is a major wedge issue between Jews and Christians – even between Messianic Jews and the Church.

First, the Jews who are not saved have little hope of processing well the rejection of Christianity over the past 2,000 years.  People who suffer major rejection in their lives because of real traumas done to them but without a relationship to God in Yeshua/Jesus, may be able to operate in a survival mode that makes them look externally like they are handling everything well.  The inner reality is a different optic altogether!  Just like the individual who is going through their lives with unresolved bitterness and unforgiveness stored up in their hearts, there are parts of their lives where that ‘bleeds through’ with negative effects on their lives, relationships, even health and mental state.

People who have a relationship with God through Messiah/Jesus are at different stages of knowing God as He truly is.  Even believers who seem to know God well, do not realize how significant it is to Him that we rid ourselves of unforgiveness.  To many of us, Matthew 18 is just another story in the Bible. The servant being imprisoned by tormentors is a mystery we have not internalized fully.  This is exactly where many in the Messianic Jewish community and many in the Christian community live in reality regarding each other.

 There is a mutual forgiveness we are required to walk in toward each other. The first reaction to that from those who have harbored bitter unforgivness is, “What do they have to forgive me for? They are ones who did evil to me!” 

Bitter unforgiveness becomes vicious cycle in human relationships. Most of us have an internal radar for bad feelings being beamed at us whether strongly or subtly.  We usually respond in kind. That’s why God wants us to give up the “debts” we believe others owe us – so we are not continually beaming bad feelings toward the other person.
It is often difficult to forgive people but the number one thing to remember is that it is a choice we make with conscience toward God.  It is a choice we may have to make daily, or even several times a days. 

One thing it is not: it is not a feeling. The encouraging thing here is that when you make the choice with conscience toward God enough times, the feeling of forgiveness will catch up.  Oh! Especially if you pray for your enemies:  That is the spiritual act that seems to speed up the process of actually feeling forgiveness in your heart.

This works corporately too.  Now for much of the past 2,000 years Christianity has conducted itself pretty nastily towards the Jewish people.  Many Christians do not understand that God is working a plan of salvation by setting aside the Jews for a season in order to extend salvation to the Gentiles.  Paul wrote about it most extensively in Romans 9-11 (I may never understand how so many Christians can read those simple chapters and not see anything whatsoever about God’s plan to restore the Jews in it.)

Many Christians have harbored bitter unforgiveness toward Jews for “being Christ-killers” over the past 2,000 years and done terrible things to the Jewish people because of their failure to understand the mystery of God’s plan of salvation for the whole world. Obviously, Jews have not taken that well.  Who could without knowing the forgiveness of personal debts through Messiah Yeshua, and understanding that we are now required to walk free of unforgiveness in our relationships with other men?

Some people think that once you are saved that everything is erased and set aright in your life.  The potential for that is now there, but it is a process that we must walk out.  God does not erase everything we have stored from our life experience in our hearts.  We have to give those dark spots up voluntarily– sometimes over a lifetime.  The unforgiveness we have bound up there does not automatically get evicted when we are granted the revelation of Jesus as our Salvation.  Our salvation is walked out “with fear and trembling” – in other words with conscience toward God.

What this means corporately is that many in the Messianic community are still walking around with bitter unforgiveness of what Christianity has done to Jews – and also the ongoing rejection of the Messianic Jews by the Church which is evident in so many quarters of Christianity. 

It also means there are vast swatches of Christianity that still have not understood the history of Jesus, how God brought Him through a distinct line within Israel to be the salvation of mankind, purposely setting aside Israel so the nations could receive His salvation before God restored Israel to salvation in the consummation of all things in Messiah.  Those Christians who have not understood this mystery continue to reject the significance of Israel and reject validity of the Messianic Jewish movement.

We also have the phenomena of large swatches of the Christian community who have embraced Israel while continuing to reject the significance of the Messianic Jewish movement – or even the existence of an increasing number of Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus in Israel and in the nations.  There are now something like a million Jews worldwide and 15,000 of them are Israeli citizens.

Now how do people act when there are deep rivers of rejection and unforgiveness running in their hearts?  Mostly they keep it internal and just try to live their lives with as little interaction as possible with the one who rejects them, or the one they harbor unforgiveness for.  This is not the life of abundance no matter how we present to the world externally. 

Resolution only comes by doing things God’s way.  That is why the whole Body of the LORD in the earth has to discover the truth about the parable of Matthew 18, to see what unforgiveness is costing them.

The scripture tells us that as much as lies within our power, we are to be a peace with all men. When you have people that reject you, they often want to take swipes at you as it is within their power.  There is not anything you can do about their choices except to commit them to God, praying for your enemies that God will grant them deliverance.  You have to keep making the choice to forgive. 

God will hold your feet to the fire about this issue.  Let Him have His way about what you store up in your heart.