Hollywood depicts aliens as bizarre creatures with the most unusual features, ranging from multiple eyes with pointed ears to looking like mutated insects. These space travelers have made their way to this planet to interact with the earthlings, but since they are not of this world, they never find the welcome mat out for them.
- Why do people often tend to hate that which is different?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 15:18-16:4 (ESV)
15:18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 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. 20 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. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 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. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 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. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
16:1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4 But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 15:18-25.)
- Who is doing all the hating in this passage? Who is being hated (vss. 18, 23)?
- Why does the world hate Jesus (vs. 25)?
- Why does the world hate any follower of Jesus (vss. 19, 21)? Why does no one get immunity (vs. 20)?
- What do you think it means “to not be of this world”?
- How does your understanding of the world’s hate for Jesus and his followers change your view of your journey on this earth?
RESPOND TO GOD
With the clock ticking toward his crucifixion, Jesus prepared his disciples for the challenges they would encounter after his departure. These men had become his dedicated followers, transformed from mere earthlings to agents of his kingdom on earth. As such, they were no longer of this world and would face the same persecution that Jesus had encountered. As believers, we also are not of this world. We are his ambassadors, and as such, we will also encounter opposition in various forms. Knowing it is part of our journey, as it was for Jesus, prepares us. But wait… there’s more. Divine help is on the way.
- Thank God that there is no suffering that you will experience that Jesus has not already suffered.
- Ask God to prepare you for the challenges that come with following him and for a right attitude toward those who oppose you because of your faith.