These actions reiterate his resolve to do the Father’s will. Jesus knew his purpose given by the Father. All his actions were motivated by his desire to do the will of the Father (Luke 4:34). Therefore, in each situation of opposition, his resolve never changed. He was able to do this because his unity with the Father surpassed all else. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus seeks out communion with the Father through prayer. These times with God provided him with direction, comfort, and encouragement for all he endured. In our own lives, seeking out times to prioritize our relationship with our Heavenly Father allows us to recalibrate our motivation for ministry.
Jesus knew that completion of his calling rested in his obedience as God’s Son. His suffering highlighted his submission to the Father (Hebrews 5:7–9). As followers of Christ, we must continually strive for submission to God rather than reception by man. The approval of others had no effect on Jesus’ identity as the Son of God—rather, it was the truth of who he was.
We, too, must focus on the truth of who we are. Through Christ, we are declared children of God and ambassadors for the kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our identity is independent from any work we do (Ephesians 2:8–10). Since this is the case, we cannot define ourselves as rejected or unworthy. In my own struggle with rejection, I allowed my identity to be defined by how others saw me rather than by the truth of who God declared me to be. The truth is that through Christ I am chosen, redeemed, and created for good works. As Christ’s ambassadors, we must follow his example. This obedience requires us to stay resolute to what we know to be true about who we are in Christ.
As the Son of God, Jesus could have accomplished his ministry alone. Yet, he chose to cultivate friendships with others. When he sent the disciples on mission, he sent them out in pairs. Jesus emphasized relationships because he knew the difficulties of the world. We are members of one body to encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). A cord of three strands is not easily broken. When we isolate ourselves, we give the enemy a foothold to speak lies into our minds. When I left my position at the church, I had to leave behind many important relationships. Beginning anew was a difficult process. Yet, as I connected with others in a new church, I began to feel a fresh sense of joy. While I wanted to put up walls, I was eventually able, through prayer and support, to move forward and continue to be part of the body of Christ.