Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Investigating Jesus - Part 29
John 15:18: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
We learn from this passage that opposition to Jesus’ message is unavoidable. The first opposition is that of the old nature attacking the new nature. Christian Disciples, Jesus said, were called out from the world (John 15:19). Christian Disciples upon conversion belong to a different place and are heading for a different place.
Secondly, opposition is to be expected simply because of who Jesus is (John 15:21). Christian Disciples share in the life of Jesus and the way the world treats Jesus is the way the world treats all his disciples (John 15:20-21). Thirdly, opposition comes through revealing evil. Jesus, as the Light of the World, exposed evil and sin through his words (John 15:22) and works (John 15:24). At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus commanded all those who follow Him, to also be “lights of the world” (Matthew 5:14-16). This is done by consistently ensuring that our works and words match our lifestyle and that no hypocrisy will be found. Opposition brings persecution, and regularly throughout history,
Christian believers have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. In our own time, perhaps the most persecuted century of all. Being a Christian is not an easy decision, but it is worth it. It is also endurable because of three reasons:
God remains Lord God despite all; we share in Jesus’ own sufferings and therefore have fellowship with Him (Philippians 3:10) and by being persecuted, it shows we belong to Him (John 15:19). The main reason all opposition can be endured is because the Christian Disciple is not alone. God the Holy Spirit witnesses with the Christian Disciple (John 15:26). Not as a supplementary person filling a perfunctory role, but rather as the pioneer going out to testify about Jesus ahead (John 15:26) of the Christian Disciple (John 15:27).
It is Free