John 15.20-21 cont.
20 Remember the word I said to you; a slave is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will Keep yours.
21 But, because of My name, they will do all these things to you, since they do not know the One who sent Me.
As we have seen, since Jesus was not well received in this world, then we must expect the same. At the very beginning of his gospel John wrote these words:
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, but the world did not know Him.
11 He came to His own people, but His own people did not receive Him – John 1.10-11.
The world is still hostile to its creator.
- We have already seen that another reason the earlier believers were reviled was because they were seen as politically dangerous. This was because they refused to burn incense to Caesar, and they refused to call Caesar Lord. However, in reality the Christians were the most law abiding people within the empire.
- The first believers were regarded as morally decadent. We know that the early believers took the word agape (love) and used it to describe the love that God has for all mankind, displayed in and through the death of Jesus on the cross. Agape also described the love that we must have for God and for one another.
The first Christians had a weekly love feast, and they greeted one another with the kiss of peace.
Paul tells the Corinthians to:
Welcome one another with a holy kiss – 2 Corinthians 13.12. He does the same to the church in Rome – Romans 16.16.
Peter tells his readers to:
Welcome one another with a kiss of love – 1 Peter 5.15.
Those Jews and others who wanted to cause trouble for the Christians used this greeting within the Love feast to embellish it into stating that the feast was an occasion for sexual orgies.
Yet the Christians were morally upright, and brought to the world the righteousness of Jesus.
In contrast the Roman Empire was sexually immoral and perverse.
In Galatians chapter five Paul makes it clear how different the ways of Jesus are.
We live in days where there is a return to the kind of lax morality that existed in the Roman Empire. Therefore, just as those early believers did, so must we live a life governed by the Holy Spirit in the righteousness of Jesus.