August 31, 2023 – Thursday
John 15:18 NIV
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
John 15:18 NKJV
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
John 15:18 ESV
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
This seems to be a complete reversal of what preceded it. The immediate prior verse reads as, 17 This is my command: Love each other. And even earlier, 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If we are to bear much fruit, we have to remain in Christ as apart from me you can do nothing. A few verses later, 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Wow! If we show ourselves to be Jesus’ disciples, the fruit we bear will be to Jesus’ Father’s glory! That, folks, is an incredible motivating statement from Jesus!
He follows that up with, 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. He loves us as the Father has loved Him! But wait, there is a cautionary statement, Now remain in my love. How are we to remain in His love? How? There is no mystery here, He tells us how, 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. We remain in His love by keeping His commands!
Jesus wastes no time in telling us one of His commands, 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Sounds simple enough, but how do we go about doing that? He re-emphasizes this by repeating it as mentioned above, 17 This is my command: Love each other. NIV 17 These things I command you, that you love one another. NKJV and 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another. ESV
Then we have our verse of the day, 18 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. Sometimes it is really a difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around the fact that so many in the world really do hate Jesus. But then it is so clear much of the world hates self-identified Christians as well.
Three comments from Guzik, first, Christians through the centuries have known the hatred of the world, and millions have died for Jesus. It is said that more died as martyrs for Jesus in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined. And second, he quotes Morris writing, It is not without significance that the disciples are to be known by their love, the world by its hatred. Finally, quoting Tenny, The perfect tense of the verb ‘hate’ (memiseken) implies that the world’s hatred is a fixed attitude toward him — an attitude that carries over to his disciples as well. And to each and every one of us!
It is amazing to me how many Christians will deny what the Word clearly states in many areas to avoid being maligned, harassed, and bullied. But we need to tell the truth out of love. Gossips and slanderers (Romans 1:29-30) who do so as a way of life are choosing eternal death. Out of love we are to tell them the truth or do we not love enough out of fear of being treated unfairly?
Bottom Line: Love your brothers and sisters in Christ and be willing to be hated for faithfully telling the truth.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to love and to willingly choose follow Jesus’ example of telling the truth. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton