John 15:20-27

In John 15:20-27 Jesus reminds the disciples of the response they will get in the world.  He has been persecuted, so they will be too. He is preparing them for the reality of what life will be like as a Christ Follower.  It’s not all roses.  “Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave isn’t greater than his master!’ So since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you!”  We have to be prepared and ready to make the choice of continuing to follow Him.  If not ready, the world very well may pull us away.  “The people of the world will persecute you because you belong to me, for they don’t know God who sent me.”

Why does the world hate Jesus?  Because His life and the truth of His Word has exposed the reality of their heart and life.  In a word, it is SIN.  None of us like to be guilty of sin, yet all of us are.  Jesus pointed that out loud and clear.  “They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin.” But even worse, He made it clear that there is no pass, no way to escape the consequence, short of believing in God’s grace through Him. “Anyone hating me is also hating my Father. If I hadn’t done such mighty miracles among them they would not be counted guilty. But as it is, they saw these miracles and yet they hated both of us—me and my Father.”

That hatred of the truth will spill on the disciples, and ultimately us as Christ Followers.  People really dislike being shown as sinners.  The scriptures prophesied what would happen, and it is exactly what did and continues to today. “This has fulfilled what the prophets said concerning the Messiah, They hated me without reason.” The Lord who was personally persecuted on earth continued to be persecuted, even in his exultation, and now in the person of his persecuted followers.  We don’t really experience that persecution like Christians in other parts of the world, but it is ongoing even today.

Jesus has made it clear that He is leaving, but He gives them good news.  “But I will send you the Comforter—the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.” Jesus knew the disciples would need the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to face the opposition the world would bring.  The Holy Spirit will continue the teaching work of Jesus.  He leaves the disciples with a charge however: “And you also must tell everyone about me because you have been with me from the beginning.”  We are the messengers of truth and need to tell those in our patch about Jesus.  The disciples (nor you or I) were not left in the world merely to endure the world’s hatred. We have a story to tell!

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