Welcome to another edition of My Thoughts and today’s segment is, “They Do Not Hate You.” Open your Bible to the Gospel of John, Chapter 15:18-27. Before we get into our passage, let me start by asking you a couple of questions:
- Has there ever been a time you knew certain people hated you, and wondered why they did?
- You think to yourself; did I say or do something that made them mad and me to the point of hatred?
I have heard many things about why some people hate each other. The way they dress, their personality, race, culture, and even their faith. Some people will go to the extent that if you do not believe in the same things they do or the status quo, they will hate you until you conform to their way of thinking.
I work a secular job that falls into the same lines. It is a very hostile environment until you conform to their standard, which includes plenty of profanity, threatening remarks, and hatred towards known Christians. There are about five born-again believers I know of, and I am sometimes targeted because I am the most vocal. The others go with the flow.
Many people hated Jesus because He gave them the truth about the kingdom of God. The Jewish Leaders followed Him everywhere, looking for something to trip Jesus up, so they could convict and sentence Him to death using the Roman Empire. Jesus knew what they were doing and always showed love and compassion no matter what they thought about Him. We need to strive to have compassion for everyone, especially those who hate us. In John 15:18-27, Jesus discusses why, as Christians, the world hates us.
Passage Text – Gospel of John 15:18-27
18“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before they hated you.”
19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
20” Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
21” But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent Me.”
22” If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
23” He who hates Me hates My Father also,”
24” If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.”
25” But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hate Me without a cause.’”
26” But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
27” And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
They First Hated Jesus
In verse 18, Jesus reminds the disciples if the world hates them, it is not because of who they are, but because they hate Jesus first. Why? The world hated Jesus since His birth when Herod the Great attempted to kill all male babies two years old and younger since he heard a King from David’s lineage was born in Bethlehem.
The world also hates us because, in first-century Israel, their society was extremely hostile to God, and no difference today. We live in a vast ungodly society that believes there is no need for God and is under Satan’s rule (John 14:30).
Look at verse 19 as it answers the previous verse. If we were still following the world, they would again love and welcome us anytime. Because Jesus called us out of the darkness or spiritual death into the light or spiritual life, we are now hated by the world, as we now belong to Jesus. Here are some reasons why the world hates us:
- It hates reproof or criticism (John 3:19)
- Their evils are exposed by Christian living (Titus 2:11-12)
- Its darkness is exposed by Christian light (John 3:18-20)
- It has natural enmity or hostility against God (James 4:4)
Our life now as Christians has a different purpose, hope, joy, and love. We now have certainty there is an eternal place for us in heaven. We also have the truth, which is God’s word, and we have a standard for living.
Don’t Think You Are Better Than Others
Jesus reminds the disciples of a statement He made in John 13:16, “No servant is greater than His master.” When they persecute Me, they will surely persecute you. The root cause of the world’s hatred towards Christians is our relationship with Jesus and their hardened hearts.
The key word in verse 20 is persecuted (dioko). In Greek, it means to pursue with malignant or spiteful intent. We could replace malignant with wicked, nasty, or cruel. The persecution we face is because we do all things in Jesus’ name and the world does not like it. It is because of their ignorance or lack of knowledge of God.
Jesus came and spoke to everyone about their sinful ways, and that they are not pleasing to God. If Jesus never came into the world in the first place, they would not be guilty of their sin., but He did and now they have no excuses to give for their sin (Jeremiah 31:33). It is what makes the world hate us.
They Also Hated God
In verses 23-25, Jesus now tells the disciples if they hate Me, then they hate my Father also. Remember, Jesus is God in the flesh or incarnate (John 1:14). He performed many miracles no one else before Him could perform from turning water into wine, healing the sick and blind, and raising people from the dead. The unbelief of the Jewish leaders and some of the people should have turned to belief when they witness these miracles.
The Messiah promised to us, is present with us, and only God could have performed such miracles. Unfortunately, that did not happen due to their hardened hearts and hatred towards Jesus and God. The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus because they loved the darkness and not the light (John 3:19). Their hatred of Jesus is without any cause (Psalm 35:19) and fits into the pattern of the world’s hate for God’s people.
The Spirit is Coming, You Have Been Warned
In the face of the world’s opposition and hatred, a believer might attempt to escape from the world or become silent. Churches today refuse to witness in the world about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have become discouraged because of rejection, opposition, and persecution.
Jesus knew this and told the disciples the helper, which is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of truth (v. 26), will come down from God and will bear witness about Me. It is the second time Jesus mentions the Holy Spirit as the helper. The first time is in John 14:26 and the third time in John 16:7. Being filled with the Holy Spirit will allow you also to bear witness about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God to others!
When you feel the hatred, disapproval, and harassment of others due to your faith in Jesus Christ, take heart. They hated Jesus before us, and He is the reason why the world hates us. They try to find plenty of excuses, but it all leads back to Jesus.
Another reason is they do not know and believe in God, which in turn, they do not believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He faced constant disapproval and harassment from His people. This is where we, as the church, come to them, living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus knows what we are going through, so He brought down the Holy Spirit to help us cope with the dislike of the world and to give us hope, faith, and joy, knowing that we have a Savior who achieved victory for all humanity on the cross, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I fully agree on God’s Word!
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