John 15:18-25 (NIV) 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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. 20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
On verses 18-25: An unbelieving world hated Jesus Christ so much that they killed him by nailing him to a cross. Even to this day, no name has received more hate in all of human history than the name of Jesus Christ. On a daily basis, there is also no name that is used more as a curse word, no name that is abused and taken for granted more than the name of Jesus. And as Jesus predicted in verses 20-21, just as much of the world despised Jesus, so much of the world despises Christians. That is why virtually the only time you hear a pastor or Christian leader making the mainstream news is if it is related to some kind of scandal. The world loves to pick Christians apart, pointing at their faults, laughing at their failings, and at the same time ignoring the good that Christians do or taking seriously the message that Christians preach. But this is should not surprise us, for Jesus says it himself, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (v18)
Why did the unbelieving world hate Jesus and why does an unbelieving world hate Christians? It’s because Jesus and Christians make some claims that were not politically correct back in Jesus’ day, nor are they politically correct in our day. The message that we are sinners who need a Saviour has never been a popular one. People would prefer to play their games, watch porn and shop online than think about turning to God. So there will always be pushback against such the Gospel message. But Jesus didn’t bring this message to condemn. Rather he brought his message because the gospel contains the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Thus as followers of Jesus, we would be amiss if we were to stop preaching the gospel simply because it is not popular. Don’t be discouraged or surprised when unbelievers curse you, hate you or persecute you, for that is the way they treated our Saviour.
John 15:26 (NIV) 26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
On verse 26: In verse 26 Jesus teaches us some important truths about the Holy Spirit. He calls the Holy Spirit “the Counselor” and “the Spirit of truth”. The Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus from the Father. The Holy Spirit also testifies about Jesus. That is one way you can distinguish the Holy Spirit from evil spirits: the Holy Spirit is set on glorifying Jesus and lifting Jesus up, whereas evil spirits want nothing to do with Jesus.
John 15:27 (NIV) 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
On verse 27: Just as the Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus, so we are called to testify about Jesus. Let’s join the Holy Spirit in testifying about Jesus, working with the Holy Spirit to proclaim who Jesus is.
Lord Jesus, whenever I am mocked, persecuted or hated because of my faith, may I remember that You went through even more. Holy Spirit thank You for working in our lives and testifying to us about who Jesus is. May I join You in testifying about who Jesus is in my life to others. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!