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July 30, 2011

Jesus and the Psalms

Part Eight

The Hatred towards Jesus and The Psalms

John 15:25

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       Jesus created mankind, and knows all about men.  Great evil dwells in the hearts of men, but Jesus loves people all the time.  As we study this passage in John 15.25 today, keep in mind that Jesus has been preparing His disciples for His death, resurrection and departure from them. 

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.

John 15:18

       The World Hated Jesus before You.  In John 15:18, Jesus told His disciples to understand that the world would hate them.  Jesus uses this phrase: “If the world” meaning that it certainly does hate them (first class condition).  At times in my life, I have done some very dumb things, and people have been hurt and offended by my behavior.  Yet, at other times, I have simply proclaimed the Word of God to people, and testified for Jesus, and people have hated me for confronting their sin in light of Scripture.  Jesus reminded His disciples that even if they live a perfect life of love before men, the world will still hate them, just as the world hated Jesus and finally crucified Him.  Jesus explains the reasons why the world hates the disciples of Jesus, and the same truths apply today.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

John 15:19

        Jesus Chose You.  In John 15:19, we learn that the primary reason the world hates you is because Jesus chose you out of the world.  This doctrine that God chose (“ἐξελεξάμην“) you for salvation plays an important role here.  The phrase “If you were of the world” means an unfulfilled condition, and contrary to the existing facts, because the believers are not of the world.  As you grew up before you were born again in Christ, the world loved (“ἐφίλει“) you because you were of the world, and the world loves its own.  But God chose you and singled you out for His salvation.  He chose you out of the world (John 15:16; Ephesians 1:4), so now you belong to God, and no longer belong to the world.  Think for a moment how great the love of God is in your life.  Jesus chose you to be with Him forever, and live in His love for eternity.  The world despised Him, and because He chose you and not them, they hate you, like they hated Him.  You live in Him, and the wrath of God abides upon them (John 3:36).

Remember the word that 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 also.

John 15:20

      You Will Be Persecuted.  Jesus not only warned His disciples that the world would hate them, but He also declared that the world would persecute (“διώξουσιν“) them.  By the phrase “if they persecuted Me,” Jesus means that the world certainly persecuted Him, and the world will also persecute them.  Flowing from their evil hearts would come evil persecutions.  In John 15:20, Jesus reminds the disciples to think about His words.  Today, we can find great encouragement to face the hatred of the world by remembering the words of Jesus.  If people learn that you follow Jesus Christ and live for Him, they will hate you like they hated Him.  They did not obey His word, and they will not obey your word either.

But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  He who hates Me hates My Father also.

John 15:21-23

          Hatred Without Excuse.  In John 15:21-23, Jesus explains that the world will hate and persecute believers because of His name’s sake.  The reason they take such actions relates to the world’s lack of personal knowledge and hatred of the Father Who sent Jesus into the world (John 3:16).  Furthermore, Jesus also ties their sin to His message of salvation.  He came and performed the works of Messiah–healing the sick, making the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the mute speak.  He proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, consisting of salvation by faith alone.  If He would not have spoken to the world, they would not have the sin of rejecting and despising Him directly.  But because He has come and proclaimed the Gospel to them, they have no excuse for their hatred and persecution.  Finally, Jesus links hatred of Him to hatred of the Father, because the Father sent the Son to preach the Gospel to them and to give His life as a ransom for sin.

If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.  But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, “THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’

John 15:24-25

       Hatred without a Cause.  In John 15:24-25, we see Jesus expanding upon the theme of the hatred and sin of the world.  People of the world do not merely reject the love and works of Christ with neutral feelings.  No, they explode in hatred of Christ and His disciples and persecute them, sometimes even to death.  Jesus performed works among them that no one else accomplished, and the world hated Him for those works.  Those works displayed the power of God in His life and the love of God for the recipients.  Jesus quoted Psalm 35:19:  “Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; nor let those who hate me without case wink maliciously.”  Just as King David lamented the persecutions without cause upon himself in Psalm 35, so Jesus describes the hatred and persecution by the world upon Himself.  He traces this pattern of persecution from David through Himself to His disciples.  With Jesus, we get a much bigger picture of why the world hates us and persecutes us, without a cause.

 So we learn more about Jesus and the Psalms today.

  ●  Jesus told His disciples that the world hated Him, and the world will hate His disciples also, because God chose them out of the world. 

   ●  Jesus exposed the sin of the people by testifying of God through His works, so that the world hated Him without excuse. 

   ●  Because Jesus had only testified to them of the Father, Who sent Jesus to them, they hated both Jesus and His Father without excuse. 

Application for Today

     As I live today, I will remember that Jesus told me that the world would hate me and persecute me for His name’s sake.  Instead of being discouraged by that hatred, I should be fortified with the memories of Jesus’ loving words to me: “I chose you out of the world.”  I am no longer of the world, and the world will absolutely hate me like it hates Jesus and His Father to this day.  The world hates Jesus without excuse and without a cause.  He loves the world, and gave His life for the sins of the entire world.  Will you be ready to face the hatred of the world today?