Christians will get a lot of contempt and hatred from the world. As Christians, we need to love and support one another. Do we permit little issues to impede cherishing and loving other believers around us? Jesus tells us that we are to love them, and He will give us what we stand in need of to do it.
The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil (John 7:7).
John 15:17-27 predicts that the individuals who follow Christ steadfastly and faithfully will encounter scorn, they will encounter hatred, they will encounter oppression, and they will encounter persecution from this world.
Why Did the World Hate Jesus?
The force of this experience has changed by timeframe and culture, yet the unbelieving world is for the most part antagonistic to those of real faith. Jesus reminds His believers this is because of sin and transgression and the rejection of God by those unbelievers.
Christians should never be too good to serve as Christ served, likewise, Christians should never be too good to endure suffering as Christ suffered for us. In this passage of Scripture, Jesus stresses that this admonition is intended to reinforce faith when those difficult situations come.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not (1 John 3:1).
Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you (1 John 3:13).
Reassurance is what Jesus had been trying to teach the disciples during these final lessons. The disciples were going to see Jesus get arrested and executed very soon (John 18:1-3; 19:18). Thereafter, they would encounter the enormous resistance that tormented the early church (Acts 8:1-3).
Throughout history, Christians have been persecuted mercilessly. During this upcoming discourse, Jesus demonstrated that He was advising the disciples something that they needed to know and understand, so that they would be prepared for what was to come (John 13:9; 14:25,29).
Realizing what was going to occur and that Christ had already anticipated it, this was intended to make the suffering of those impending tribulations easier to deal with (1 Peter 4:12-13).
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22).
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake(Matthew 24:9).
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world (John 17:14).
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error (1 John 4:5-6).
Jesus reminds the disciples that “the servant is not greater than his lord” (John 15:20). He originally referenced this while telling His disciples to imitate His illustration of humble servanthood (John 13:14-16).
For this situation, Jesus gives an admonition: if Christ endured suffering on account of the unbelievers, Christians cannot anticipate being safe from any affliction or persecution from unbelievers either.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me(John 17:25).
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples and Jesus met a man who had been blind since birth. The disciples had repeated the basic suspicion from their cultural way of life: that the man must have deserved the suffering that he had been enduring, in some way or another.
Jesus discredited that, expressing obviously that the man’s visual impairment was not a cause for discipline due to some transgression (John 9:1-3). There is a comparable consolation in this section: disdain or hatred from the world is not necessarily something a Christian has acquired or earned somehow or another.
Why Does the World Hate Christians?
The world of unbelievers despised Christ, so we can anticipate that the world would detest the people who follow Christ’s example. This should not imply that all battles experienced by Christians are because of faith.
Those who are harsh, unkind, unreasonable, unfair, improper, or immoral should expect to endure ordinary consequential suffering (1 Peter 4:14-15). Nor does it mean that only the individuals who experience brutal oppression are genuine believers, a few cultural societies honor God more than others.
In any case, when an individual dependably and faithfully follows Christ, and unbelievers lash out in resentment or contempt, that is not the Christian’s fault. Christ even stated that the world hated Him without a cause.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters (1 Peter 4:14-15).
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause (Psalm 35:19).
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away(Psalm 69:4).
In verse 26, Jesus gives hope. The Holy Spirit invigorates perseverance to endure through the preposterous contempt and evil that is in our world and the aggressive hostility that many have toward Christ.
Here, He utilizes two names for the Holy Spirit, Comforter, and Spirit of Truth. The name Comforter passes on the aiding, the empowering, and the fortifying work of the Spirit. The name Spirit of Truth focuses on educating, enlightening, and helping the work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit serves to both the head and to the heart. “Proceedeth from the Father” signifies that the Spirit comes out from the Father. This is not some angelic being, it is the divine person of God Himself.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you(John 14:15-17).
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you(John 14:26).
What Does This Mean?
If we are God’s children, the world will hate us. A Christian’s notoriety and popularity can be a sign of how that person is addressing Christ to the world. It is quite difficult to be a Christian and, therefore, be mainstream in this world.
No Christian has the privilege to be more popular than Jesus. We are to be careful with any compromising positions to acquire fame. The world will not cherish a genuine child of God. The world will adore us only if we are of the world. We do not even need to act super-devout.
Sadly, there are individuals in the congregation today that are not truly born-again. They hate the genuine child of God. They will likewise detest the minister if he is effectively consistent and true with the Word of God. Be careful and mindful of the Christian who is or is seeking popularity with the world.
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Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki, of 25 years, reside in Madison, Alabama. You can visit my site here.