Verse of the Day Devotion: John 15:18
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” – John 15:18
Jesus has just finished telling His disciples that He had chosen them to be His disciples and that He loved them. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:9-10. He really wants them to understand how much love He had for them.
However, He now gives them a warning of what will happen to them when they are sent out into the world to spread the good news to all men. He tells them that the world will hate them. Now the focus verse above says, if the world hates you. This is not saying that there is a chance the world will hate them. He, in essence is saying, that the world will hate them, and if they do, remember they hated Him first. By being His disciples, they were exposed to the hatred the world had for Him. And the hatred would be proportional to their faith and holiness that they exhibit to the world. He then explains why. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:19 The world would love them if they were still of the world. They would be in unity in regard to their hatred of Christ. But, because Christ took them out of the world by choosing them to be His disciples, they now profess what is contrary to their beliefs.
We must also remember that we also are not of this world but are now children of God. We are sent out to the world to present the truth, which goes against the ways of the world. We can see now what the world thinks of us. They hate us because we present the truth of Christ. Look at the persecution that many Christians are enduring in countries like China, North Korea, many parts of India, the middle east and elsewhere. These Christians suffer greatly at the hands of their governments and religious leaders. They are hated because they believe and preach the truth, which runs counter to the atheistic and idolatrous people who live there. These Christians need our fervent prayers to help them remain strong in the midst of this intense persecution.
But think about this, we here in America and other countries like Canada are beginning to face this hatred of us because of our strong faith and devotion to Christ. We saw the bakery where the owners almost lost their business because they refused to create a cake for a wedding of two gay individuals. Students at a prestigious law school were told they needed to intern at a law firm of their choosing, as long as it was not a Christian law firm. We see Christians taunted and ridiculed for standing up and living their beliefs. Much of the press speaks against the Christian faith, as well as many in our government who tell us that transgenderism and abortion are human rights and we have no right to speak against it because of our faith.
Lets all stand strong and profess and live out our faith before a world that hates us. We are called to spread the good news to all nations and all people. And because of this, we are speaking against their beliefs and life styles and thus, they do not accept what we say. However, some will, and it is for these that we reach out to the world. And we should rejoice for we are blessed. “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23. And also remember, the hated Jesus before they hated us, therefore, we are in good company.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. Note: