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Daily Reading: 25th August 2015

John 15.17-19 cont.

17 I command you this thing: That you should love one another.

18 If the world hates you, you know that it first of all hated Me.

19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own, but you do not belong to the world. Instead I have called you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

It is perhaps true that nobody likes to be unpopular, and that we all like others to think well of us. Teachers like to be well thought of by their pupils, parents want their children to hold them in high regard. Leaders of all kinds like their followers to think highly of them.

Following Jesus is to court unpopularity with the world. The world is anti-christian. The spirit of the anti-Christ is in the world, and has been since the days of the New Testament.

When Jesus warned His disciples that the world would hate them He was repeating a previous warning that He had given to them.

The occasion was when the disciples had called the attention of Jesus to the fine building of the temple.

[9] “But look out for yourselves; you will be handed over to the authorities (councils) and you will be beaten in the synagogues and, because of Me you will stand before rulers and kings to witness to them”

[10] And it is necessary that first the gospel be proclaimed in all the nations.

[11] And when they arrest you and lead you away, do not be anxious beforehand what to say, but speak whatever is given you at that time, for you will not be speaking but the Holy Spirit.”

[12] “And brother will hand over brother to be killed and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and kill them.

[13] And because of My name everyone will hate you, but the one who endures to the end will be saved” – Mark 13.9-13.

Jesus knew what it was like for His earthly family to turn against Him, although we know that at least one brother came to receive Him as Lord and Saviour, and that was James.

Jesus warned His disciples that being hated by the world may well come from the members of their own family.

The same can be true today, where families ostracize those who receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, or who commit themselves to follow Jesus into areas considered to be too radical by their families.

We must pray for those in these situations, whilst also expecting that we might also face such treatment for the name of Jesus.

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