John 13-15 The world hated him first

From John 13-15

Gospel Jesus is risen Christ

Jesus expects the hatred of the world. This hatred will be passed on to those he pulls out of the world. Their hatred and denial that he is the Christ is not good for them in the long run. What would be harder to bear. Knowing the world will hate you or knowing the world will hate those who follow you?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

Today’s chapters had some interesting passages, but I chose this because I don’t hear it spoken about often. Jesus says;

18 “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. (Jn 15.18-21)

Jesus says ‘you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you’. This statement emphasizes that Jesus election of his people manifests a change that is noticeable to the world they used to belong to. The world that once loved them, now hates them because of Jesus. The root cause of their hatred is that they do not know the Father. Hatred I imagine, because I don’t know if I have experienced it, is difficult to have directed at you. All but one of these disciples will be martyred.

22 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.’ (Jn 15.22-25)

Normally we would say people are always guilty of their sin. But Jesus seems to suggest here that is not the case if they don’t know about Jesus. At face value it is difficult to believe these words. If someone hasn’t seen, heard or been told about Jesus will they be held to account. Jn 3.18, 2 Thes 1.8, Acts 17.30 and Rom 1.20; 10.18 come to mind presenting different points of view. My general policy on texts that may contradict others is to let the text speak for itself and not force it to say something I may prefer.

So what does the Jesus say here? He says that these people are now guilty of sin because they have seen and heard Him. Perhaps they could have denied he was the Christ and gotten away with it if they had not seen him or his works. Now they have no excuse.

The question for us is, when we present the gospel to people who then reject Jesus as the Christ are they more guilty as a result. I think so.

About Jesus

Jesus expects the hatred of the world. This hatred will be passed on to those he pulls out of the world. Their hatred and denial that he is the Christ is not good for them in the long run.


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