Hated with no reason (John 15 v 18-25)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

It’s painful when someone treats us badly and we deserve it. It’s much worse to be hated for no good reason at all. That’s our theme today.

From love to hatred
Read John 15:18

Someone has said that Christians are known for their love, but the world is known for its hatred. “The world” means people trying to live in God’s world without honouring Him.
From here to the end of chapter 16 Jesus' focus is mostly about coping with the hatred of the world.

A transfer of allegiance

• How did the world treat Jesus?

TIME OUT… Read John 1:10, John 5:16, John 8:48, John 12:10.
• What do these verses add to our understanding of how the world treated Jesus?

Why does the world hate Jesus’ people? There has been a transfer, as if the coach of a top-level club bought us from some useless lower-league club to play for his team.
From now on, we are playing against our old team—and we cannot expect our old team-mates to like this, nor to understand our transfer..

Treated as Jesus is treated
Read John 15:20

• Why will we not get better treatment than Jesus did?

We mustn’t kid ourselves that we are “greater than” our Master.

Read John 15:22

When Jesus says (v 22, 24) that if He hadn’t spoken to them they would not have been “guilty of sin”, He doesn’t mean they would have been innocent. That would be absurd, and there would have been no point in Him coming into the world! Jesus means they have now lost any possible excuse they might have hoped to have. Notice in v 22 and v 24 how both Jesus’ words and His miracles give them no excuse.

• According to Jesus, what is the root cause of their hatred of Him (v 23)?
• Is it possible to love God and yet reject Jesus?

Verse 25 is a quotation from the Psalms. All down history people who have been faithful to God have been hated by the ungodly. We can expect no better.

Pray that your expectations will be realistic in the Christian life, that you will not expect to be well treated, and that you won’t be surprised when you are not.

This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published January 17, 2012.

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