Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
In John 15-16, Jesus says the world will hate followers of Jesus as they hated Jesus. Who is the world that hated Jesus and will most likely hate you? Who gave Jesus the most trouble? I’ve seen very few people of the world hate me and who I am following, so this word from Jesus is a bit troubling.
Now, it’s been my experience that when you are troubled by something in the Scriptures, keep reading. In John 16, Jesus clarifies who this world is:“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the hour is coming when those who kill you will think they are offering a service to God.”And then Luke records some interesting words along this same line that gives us even more clarification on the kind of hate Jesus is talking about. In the 6th chapter of Luke Jesus says: “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of Me.”
Who is the world? Who are these people? They will put you out of their synagogues-their religious establishments-and will think that they are doing a righteous act-the right thing-as they come against you. They will think they are offering a service to God by their actions. Who are these people? They are the religious ones who are at the helm of their man-made systems and simply Jesus-Jesus plus nothing-interrupts what they already have going for them. The world is not the secular world system, but the religious. This brings us to SECRET #55: The follower of Jesus knows he will be hated by the religious world.
We have more in common with the fellow travelers of the world than with the religious. It’s the religious who believe they have it altogether and don’t have need for Jesus that Jesus criticized and attacked. He called them vipers and painted tombstones. He really wasn’t nice to them, because they are the greatest threat to the Jesus movement today. The non-religious are much more attracted to Jesus and to you as you practice the principles and teachings of Jesus and lovingly touch them.
Note Jesus’ disciples are hated by the religious world primarily because of the name of Jesus: “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.” This is what’s missing in the Christian world today-the matchless name of Jesus! Instead of taking a stand against sin and sinners or for the traditional Christian faith and tenets; take a stand with Jesus-simply Jesus.