Scripture for the week: John 15:18-27
Quote for the week: “…you do not belong to the world…”
The betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus was drawing closer and closer. As the time approached Jesus was focused on serving the needs of the disciples. And what was their need? To know what was coming. Jesus knew that they had now come to rely on Him and that He would no longer be there in a physical way. This was going to be difficult if they did not know the final plan. So He reminds them of the plan. The first half is not so fun: the world will hate you. Wow. I am not sure if that is how I would kick off a pep talk. Jesus knew that they would very soon see the world’s full hatred of Jesus. They had seen the public outcries and the attempted stonings, so they knew Jesus was hated by many. What they did not yet realize is the extent of this hatred and the brutal suffering that Jesus was to go through. Jesus needed to tell them about this hatred, because they too would face this same issue. This bluntness was an important first step in helping them understand how life would be.
Jesus reminds them that the reason people will hate them is because they hate Him and therefore hate those who stand with Him. They hate Jesus because He pointed out their sin. He also showed them a path of forgiveness, but they did not want to admit to their sin. Jesus does not leave the disciples to wonder still about their condition amongst the hatred of the world. He lets them know right away, that the Counselor will come when Jesus leaves. This Counselor will come to be with them and the Counselor is from the Father, just as Jesus is from the Father. This is one more reason we have seen in previous chapters the emphasis of Jesus and the Father being one. He now relates this same concept to the Counselor and the Father. And we are one with them… just as he was telling the disciples.
Jesus reminds them in verse 19, “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” [emphasis mine] For us this is a vivid reminder of the love of Jesus. He chose us OUT of this world. We should feel strange and unfamiliar with this world… it is not our home. He wants us to feel comfortable and rested in HIS arms, HIS world, which is far from here.
Prayer for the week: Father, today allow us to hear your Spirit moment by moment. Let us not fear this world since you have overcome this world and chosen us out of it. Thank you, Father, for your protection.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 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. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
“When the Advocate 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. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
John 15:18-27 (NIV)