Jia Jiang knocked on the door of a stranger and asked if he could play soccer in the backyard. He also requested a “burger refill” at a restaurant.
Why? In order to overcome his fear of rejection.
Like most of us, Jia Jiang had experienced rejection, and it hurt. So each day for one hundred days, he asked a stranger something so ridiculous that that person would surely say no. He hoped that being rejected often enough would desensitize him to the pain. He ended up discovering much more.
I can’t help but compare Jia Jiang’s journey to the rejection Jesus experienced. Author Jia Jiang even mentions Jesus in his TED Talk about rejection along with Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
These are great men who suffered rejection. But none of them were equals to Jesus.
Jesus experienced rejection—from the crowds, the Jewish and Roman authorities, his own friends, and even his Father in that moment of ultimate spiritual agony on the cross (Mark 15:34). Not to learn from it. Not to turn it into an opportunity for himself. Not to desensitize himself to its pain.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. . . . For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:3,12).
Jesus was rejected to suffer the painful punishment for your sins so that you will never be rejected in the same way.