When Rejection is a Qualification

“Then the officials said to the king, ‘Now let this man be put to death, inasmuch as he is discouraging the men of war who are left in this city and all the people, by speaking such words to them; for this man is not seeking the well-being of this people but rather their harm.’ … Then they took Jeremiah and cast him into the cistern of Malchijah the king’s son, which was in the court of the guardhouse; and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. Now in the cistern there was no water but only mud, and Jeremiah sank into the mud” (Jer 38:4, 6).

In this passage, the man who is chosen and sent by God is spurned and rejected by his own people. Here the author borrows exact words from the Joseph story to describe Jeremiah’s rejection. When Jeremiah is falsely accused of not seeking the peace of his brothers (compare Jer 38:4 with Gen 37:14), the people grab him and “throw him into a cistern” (compare Jer 38:6 with Gen 37:22) “without water” (compare Jer 38:6 with Gen 37:24).

Reading about Joseph and Jeremiah’s suffering, God wants us to see Yeshua!

And seeing the reflection of Joseph’s sufferings in the this story of Jeremiah’s rejection, we see a doubly clear image of a future prophet, chosen by God and sent to his people. Although the Jewish people are looking for a triumphant Messianic figure, the biblical pathway to the throne of David is rejection. Our people’s rejection of Yeshua is what most qualifies him for the throne. Reading about Joseph and Jeremiah’s suffering, God wants us to see Yeshua!

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons… They said to one another, ‘Here comes this dreamer! Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, “A wild beast devoured him.” Then let us see what will become of his dreams!'” (Gen 37:3a, 19-20).

“He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those vine-growers said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours!’ They took him, and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard” (Mark 12:6-8).

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