The Gospel of Rejection
The Gospel of John is sometimes called the Gospel of Rejection because it shows more fully than do the other Gospels the course by which the leaders of Israel rejected the Messiah. Most of the “house of Israel” particularly the pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 10:6; 15:24), who were the leaders in God’s chosen nation, didn’t receive Christ as the Messiah. They were “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24).
Jesus said to these leaders, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). John records that not just the religious leaders rejected Christ but some of the disciples as well who “went back and walked with Him no more” when they heard His words that clashed with their worldly ambition (John 6:66).
The religious leaders didn’t only oppose Christ but accused Him of falsehood saying, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true” (John 8:13). And they denounced His claim of being sent from heaven when they said, “We know that God spoke to Moses; as for this fellow, we do not know where He is from” (John 9:29).
There was no excuse for their opposition to Christ for God had validated His Son’s words with supernatural acts. Jesus said to them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25). Yet, in spite of the miracles “they did not believe in Him” (John 12:37). And even those among the rulers that believed in Him dare not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue (verse 42).
Finally, their rejection led them to ask Pilate to crucify Christ declaring, “We have no king but Caesar!” (John 19:15). Sadly, “the god of this age has blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Although the gospel of John shows clearly the leaders’ rejection to Christ, it also records that many other faithful souls “received him” and were counted among God’s children (John 1:12; 2:11; 3:2; 4:29, 39, 42, 53; 6:14; 7:31, 40, 41, 43; 8:30; 10:19, 42; 11:45; etc.).
In His service,