“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 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 also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled:‘They hated me without a cause.’”
The intimate conversations Jesus had with His disciples known as the Upper Room Discourse are captured for us in John 13-17. They are so rich with promises that govern how the disciples — both then and now — should live! I’m preaching a short series in John 15 this month. Lord willing, tomorrow I’ll preac the third sermon from vv18-25:
The theme of the text is that the world hates Jesus and that hatred will show itself in its hatred of the disciples. Sounds depressing right? Except when you read the text closely and see it in light of its context.
The text itself contains the hope that some will “keep [the disciples’] words” v20c (i.e., Jesus’ words that they will carry – see v20b & back in v7). Despite the world’s repulsion and reviling, some will hear with ears of faith and be rescued. Just as the disciples did themselves.
The context also speaks of Jesus’ love for the disciples (vv9, 12) — which includes the foretelling of laying His life down for them (v14) — and the promise of experiencing full joy (v11).
Being liked by the world, being respected by the world, being thought well of by the world is not just a good alternative to experiencing joy in Jesus’ love. The world is against Jesus, hated Him first, persecuted Him first. It stands against Jesus and His mission. Turn your affections to the One who knows the difficulties you will face, longs to commune with you about how He can help you overcome them in this life, and ultimately delivered you through His substitutionary death.