Verse 18 begins a new section in John 15 concerning the HATE that the world has for God, and in turn, will have towards us (vs. 18 – 25).
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” | John 15:18
“Now wait!” you may say. “I work and interact with unbelievers, and they don’t seem to ‘hate’ me.” That may be true at a personal, friendship level, but when we look more closely, there’s a deeper principle that God is communicating to us in this passage. The hatred of the world is not primarily defined by personal feelings of animosity that our secular peers may or may not have towards us as a person. It originates in the enmity that has existed from ages past between Good and evil; Light and darkness; the Spirit and the flesh; God and Satan. We are hated by the world because we are In Christ and the world hates Him. (see vs. 19 in this chapter) Isaiah prophesied that Christ would be despised and rejected by men. (Is. 53:3) As we abide in Christ, we are made to participate in His sufferings. (I Peter 4:13) In fact, His Divine nature has become our very own (II Peter 1:4) and the nature of Christ is of a different kind than that of the world (ie: the flesh) – they are in opposition to each other from the very core.
So, if you feel hated or find yourself persecuted by the world, don’t despair! This is “expected behavior,” so to speak. II Timothy 3:12 promises that all who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Knowing that persecution would be present in the lives of His followers, Jesus blessed those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake and said that the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs’. (Matt. 5:10) We have great cause to rejoice when we find ourselves persecuted for the sake of Christ! This is a sign of our union with Him through His divine nature in us and is a precursor of rich, eternal blessings to come.
As you continue on with your day today, abide in Him through meditating on His Word and being filled with His Spirit so that you can receive God’s Love for you and for others through you. And, don’t be surprised if the world seems to hate or persecute you in return. When this occurs, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with Good. Keep resting in the Love of Christ!
Questions to Consider for Application:
– Am I hated by the world? If so, is it for righteousness’ sake or is it for some other reason?
– If I don’t find myself hated by this world, what might that indicate in my life?
– Brent T