He is despised and rejected of men; A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: And we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:3, KJV)
Jesus suffered for us to be saved from sin and adopted as God’s children. Isaiah described Him as a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, pain, and agony. Moreover, a significant part of His suffering stemmed from how people treated Him—He was despised and rejected.
The term “despised” means “to be looked down on with disdain and possibly hatred,” implying regarding someone with contempt or as worthless. For the religious leaders and Jesus’ community during His lifetime, Jesus was considered worthless. His people treated Him with disdain, and this sentiment continues today.
Not only was Jesus despised, but He was also rejected. Rejection in this verse signifies being forsaken, abandoned, or left by others. Who would want to associate themselves with someone despised and treated with contempt? Jesus’ rejection began with His own family, as even His brothers did not believe in Him (John 7:5).
Although His disciples assured Him they would stand by Him regardless of the circumstances, they abandoned Him when the pressure mounted. In fact, when Jesus was arrested in the Garden, one of His followers left his clothes behind and fled naked (Mark 14:51).
It’s important not to assume that our behavior would have been different if we were in their place. Their disdain and rejection represent humanity’s response to Jesus during His time on earth.
The good news is that He was despised and rejected so that the Father could accept and adopt us. He suffered and died for our sins, and today, we stand forgiven, righteous, and holy because of His sacrifice.
What do “despise” and “rejected” mean in Isaiah 53:3? Did the people know they were mistreating God in the flesh?
Apply the Word
As in Bible days, Jesus is still despised and rejected by the world today because they do not know Him. Pray for the lost, despisers, and rejectors, and ask the Lord to have mercy on them as He had mercy on you.
Thank the Father for opening your eyes to know who Jesus truly is.
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