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.
4 Earlier in His ministry Jesus had forewarned His disciples that the members of their own families would hate them, because they believed in and followed Jesus. The family of Jesus thought that He was out of His mind:
And His family went out to take control of Him: for they said that He is beside Himself (out of His mind) – Mark 3.21. They were embarrassed by Jesus. His teaching upset them; they were uncomfortable with His works of power. We must remember that He had been ejected from His home synagogue at Nazareth.
During His teaching about the End Times Jesus warned His disciples:
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 13.12-13.
It was because of this antagonism within families that it was rumored that the Christians split up families. This was another cause of accusing Christians of being harmful to the state, and, therefore an object of hate and persecution.
It is not unknown for believers today to be split from their families because they receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. This is not the desire of the believer. Instead, it is the family who has difficulty in accepting the conversion to Jesus of a family member. This is particular true when someone is saved by Jesus from out of another ‘religion’.
This has been the cause of a lot of hatred of Christians throughout the centuries, and is still with us today.
Let us pray for those who are cut off by their earthly family for the name of Jesus.
Jesus told His disciples that persecution will come to believers because they are believers in Him, and because they do not know the Father.
As we look at the world it is evident that the world does not know God, and has no desire to know Him. Yet it is to this world that we are called to preach His gospel of love and salvation.