April 14, 2020 – Tuesday
John 15:20 NIV
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
Jesus prefaced this statement with these two verses, 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Jesus was never one to water down the truth, He simply told it as it was and is. Given the truth He preached and His disciples preached, He knew many would choose the world and the darkness within it: 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3)
Remember Jesus was primarily persecuted by the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Sanhedrin, otherwise known as the establishment to use modern day vernacular. The established order and especially the Pharisees hated Him. They were going to hate and did hate His disciples as well.
Jesus went on to explain further why He and His disciples would be persecuted in the following verses: 21 They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the one who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates Me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
His quote at the end from the law is found in two separate Psalms: Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause Psalm 35:19 and Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head Psalm 69:4a.
What are we to make of what Jesus told His disciples. What does it have to do with us today? Certainly Christians in many parts of the world are still persecuted and hated as Jesus was. Many of us in the United States are also hated though much false respect is given to our faith and walk. We are often called haters because we have not chosen the values of the world. Paul said in Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Today those Paul spoke of demand we also approve of those who practice them and when we do not they hate us, calling us haters!
May our Father in heaven grant us the strength to continue to stand firm in the faith that comes from knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Let our daily walk reflect that strength and faith.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor