“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes.”

After prayer, Jesus asks the disciples who people say that He is (Lk 9:18-22).  The answers come: John the Baptist, Elijah, an ancient prophet.  When Jesus asks them directly who they think He is, Peter pipes up that He is the Christ of God.  Jesus tells them not to tell anyone, then goes on to talk about His forthcoming rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection.  It is common to focus on Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”  And this is worth considering, not only from a doctrinal perspective but also a personal perspective (i.e., Who is Jesus to you at this time, place, and situation in your life?).  But, per the headline, consider those in Jesus’ day and in our day who reject Jesus and would prefer Him eliminated.  Under cover of academia, intellectual ability, or a certain standing in society or in their faith community, it is not uncommon — even for those who claim to be Christians — to reject Jesus the Truth (Jn 14:6; cf. Jn 17:17) entirely or for a version that is more suitable to their own worldviews.  When Jesus is inconvenient, or disturbing, or too challenging, or harsh, or uncompromising, or difficult, it is not He who has to change, it is we who have to change.  “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do” (Lk 5:31).  Well, we are all sick with sin to a greater or lesser degree.  There is no justification to reject the true Jesus (who we know through His Body the Church) outright or for a twisted replica.  Even worse is when this flawed representation is presented to others as authentic.  Jesus was rejected in His life and has been rejected often throughout the centuries.  Let us help to stop, through prayer and action, the rejection and the suffering His Body the Church continues to endure to this day.

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