18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 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 keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.' 26 "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
Questions to Consider:
The key to understanding this passage is captured in v.25 where Jesus quotes the law: 'They hated Me without a cause.' As the persecution of the Church accelerates around the world, this short sentence encapsulates the hubris that is headed our direction. It is hatred without reason or cause.
In Nazi Germany, the Jews experienced this kind of evil insanity. Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany's defeat in World War I, which was a ludicrous accusation, and proceeded to commit genocide against a whole group of people without a "true" or "real" cause. It simply was an act of extreme hubris that made no sense whatsoever.
Jesus was trying to impress upon His disciples that if the "world" hated Him; if the world killed Him; the people of the same mind-set would turn on Christ's followers. The world would not be relying on any evidence that those who follow Christ pose any threat. They would persecute without a true reason to do so. Blinded by hatred (the same demonic inspired mindset that crucified Jesus) they would come after the disciples as well.
Life without persecution should be the exception for followers of Christ. We should not be caught unaware or surprised as the Church comes under fire for teaching the truth of the Bible and for standing up for the rights of unborn children. The same spiritual forces of evil that came against Jesus will indeed come against the people of God in our time. Matthew 5:10-12 (NKJV) 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Lead Teaching Elder: