Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, "Come, let us go to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going." Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the Lord.'
Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
Rejection is one of the most painful of human experiences, especially if it comes from someone who matters to us, someone in whom we have invested a lot of ourselves. An experience of rejection can leave us angry or even bitter. We might even be tempted to strike out in some way, to retaliate in kind. Jesus knew that human experience of rejection, when he was rejected by the people of a Samaritan village. He was a Jew heading for Jerusalem and that was enough to make them refuse him hospitality. If rejection like this was a standard Samaritan response to Jews, the angry reaction of the disciples was a standard Jewish response to Samaritans. They responded to this experience of rejection by suggesting that Jesus allow them to call on God to destroy the Samaritan village. They wanted to strike out.
Jesus' response was very different to that of his disciples. He simply went on to another village; he proclaimed the gospel elsewhere. Jesus remained generous in the face of rejection. That is his way and it is to be our way too. Who we are and how we relate to others is not determined by how others relate to us. Rather who we are, even in the face of rejection, is determined by something much deeper, by our relationship with the Lord and our efforts to keep putting on his mind and spirit.