John 16.2-4 cont.
2 They will expel you from the synagogue, and the hour comes when those killing you will think they are offering to God a service.
3 And they will do these things because they have known neither the Father, nor Me.
4 But I have spoken these things to you so that when their time comes you might remember that I told you. I did not speak to you about these things from the beginning, because I was with you.
There are many people whom we know about, but do not know personally. The opinion that we form about those we have never met or had communication with is formed by what others have said about them. We either have a positive or negative opinion about these people, formed by the reputation that is passed on.
Of course the same will be true of people who do not really know us, except by repute.
Repute can soon become gossip, turning into negative opinions, which can quite easily lead to destructive actions. This is particularly true in times of war, where it is said that truth becomes the first casualty.
Jesus tells us that the world will persecute us because it knows neither the Father, nor Himself. Knowing the Father is impossible without our being shown Him. Jesus said this when He spoke these words:
“The Father gave all things to Me, but no one knows who the Father is except the Son and whomever the Son should decide to reveal (Him) to”- Luke 10.22.
Jesus came to show the world who the Father is. His ministry was devoted to disclosing the nature of the Father. This is why Jesus said:
“I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me” – John 14.6.
God does not want anyone to know about Him only through ‘reputation’, or human opinion, because that can very easily be distorted. God sent Jesus into the world so that the world would be able to see Him and be saved by Him through Jesus.
When the people in the world choose to ignore Jesus, they turn their back against God and are unable to know Him. This is the cause of ungodly laws that are passed by parliaments around the world. It has been, and still is, the cause of the persecution and martyrdom of Christians.
Jesus said that we are the light of the world, and that we must let our light shine. Jesus gave us the reason for this:
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” – Matthew 5.16 (NLT).