Verse of the Day Devotion: John 17:14
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” – John 17:14
This verse is found in what is known as the High Priestly Prayer, because Jesus, who is praying here, took on the role of High Priest. The office of High Priest started at Mt. Sinai when God gave the Law to the Israelites through Moses. Aaron was chosen, along with his descendants, to be priests who were responsible for interceding on behalf of Israel before God. One priest was selected as the High Priest who would take it further by entering the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement to offer the sacrifice that would temporarily cover the sins of the people. “Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.” Hebrews 9:6-7. Jesus came here to take the role of the perfect High Priest, one who did not need to address His own sins for He was and is without sin, therefore His was not a once a year requirement but a once for all eternity.
Now, in our focus verse, Jesus declares in His prayer a very definite truth that was not only applicable to the time He was in, but also today. He starts with “I have given them Your word,” John 17:14a. Jesus spent three years preparing His disciples by teaching them what is in His word. He taught them what they are to do, and what they are not to do. He also tells them why and why not, and how they need to be totally devoted to Him and His Father. And we can see that this was successful for they went out into the world and brought many to Christ and then trained them in His ways, so they could go out and bring more into the kingdom.
He then ends this with, “and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:14b. The Jewish leadership as well as many of the pagan gentiles were very devout in their beliefs and hated those who spoke against what they believed. A perfect example of this was Jesus’ persecution and eventual crucifixion by the Jewish leadership because He was countering what they were teaching and undermining their instruction. They were of the world, but Jesus and the disciples were not, therefore they taught against what the world loved and practiced.
Now we see this happening in the world today. Many countries, especially North Korea, China and many Islamic countries already harshly persecute Christians in an attempt to convert them to their way of thinking. Many times, this leads to the death of the Christian. However, we are now seeing hatred of Christianity throughout the whole world, including the United States. People want to do what they want, and they despise those who declare it as sin. We need to understand that this was prophesied throughout the scriptures. We will go through tough times because of our beliefs and devotion to Christ. We need to pray that God will prepare us for these days so we can remain strong and true to our God. He will never leave us alone but will always be with us. We must trust in Him, for a beautiful eternal life awaits us after we stand firm in the faith.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.