June 30, 2023 – Friday
John 15:23 NIV
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.
Jesus began this section of chapter 15 by stating, 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. He is not holding back here, not even a little bit. Thus, He goes on saying, 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. Here Jesus transitioned from If the world hates you to That is why the world hates you.
What changed? By following Jesus, we no longer belong to the world, instead we follow Jesus and He haschosen you [us] out of the world. Today we see this clearly as we cannot sanction or approve much of what goes on in the secular world. So we are hated, called haters, called all kinds of things when all we are guilty of is following Jesus and hoping, praying that others will follow Him as well. We look forward to eternal life with Jesus while the world is focused almost entirely on the pleasures of this world where their lives are only a short while. Or as James 4:14b puts it, What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Our focus is (or should be) on a much longer time span with Jesus.
Jesus goes on to say, 20a Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. Hundreds of millions of Christians, over 360 million, around the world today face significant persecution. While we in American speak of our persecution, go the link and read what significant and extreme persecution consists of today.
Next, just before our verse of the day, Jesus says, 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. He is speaking of all those who saw Him, spoke to Him, heard Him, and were fully aware of His miracles as well. By not believing after all that, now they have no excuse for their sin.
Then the hammer falls, 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. Hating Jesus, hating God in the flesh, is to hate His Father as well. Then He makes this point once again that they are without excuse, 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. And finally, 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason. For more details see the notes to verse 25 via the NET here.
Bottom Line: Do not be surprised or despair at the hate directed at us and our faith, for those who hate us and our faith, first hated Jesus. And just to be clear, He said, 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.We are in GOOD company.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to stand strong no matter what contempt and hate comes our way. For we know Your love and the love of Your Son for those of us who believe and follow Him. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton