Tough CrowdSeries: The Gospel of Mark
This morning, we look at two sections from Mark that gives Jesus’ instructions on dealing with “tough crowds”—people who are difficult to reach with the gospel. In the midst of everything else going on in this passage, this phrase kept coming up to me: “Don’t take it personally.” Sometimes, when talking about our faith, we attach a lot of our personal emotion to it. Makes sense, right? Usually, our faith matters a great deal to us, so it’s only logical that we personalize it when talking about it. The flip side of this, however, is that doing this can easily make us offended. If the person isn’t interested, or disagrees with us, we take it personally and are offended. The message we receive is that they are rejecting us. The reality, however, is that they usually aren’t rejecting us—they are rejecting the message.
When we share our faith with others, it’s easy to involve ourselves emotionally. In some ways, we should. A robotic approach never works well when talking to other people. In other ways, however, we should be careful in attaching too much of ourselves in the message that we can’t take rejection. Jesus told us rejection would happen—it’s inevitable with a difficult message like the Gospel. Receiving the Gospel of Jesus is hard. Jesus was rejected, likely more times in his ministry than He was received. Don’t take it personally.