Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So what if the world does hate the disciples?

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If 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. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'

Why would Jesus, who talked of love, now talk about hate? Why did he feel it necessary to say this to the disciples? Why is he saying it to us? Jesus, by giving his disciples notice of trouble, hoped that the terror might not be a surprise to them, or consequently to us. I believe that Jesus wanted to warn all of his disciples of the fact that it is possible for those who are real enemies to God’s service, to pretend to love it. This does not lessen the sin of the persecutors; villainies will never be changed by putting the name of God to them. As Jesus did in his sufferings, so his followers must do in theirs. We must look to feel and experience the love of God and to share this news with others.
Jesus knew that the problems of the world would come soon enough for the disciples. He did not warn them about it sooner, because he was with them to teach, guide, and comfort them. They did not need to be concerned about the problems that they would face while he was still present to them in the flesh. It was when Jesus was no longer visible to them, that they would need to remember the warnings he was giving them.
As followers of Jesus, we need to know that we will face our share of troubles. We may be persecuted for following Jesus. This persecution may come in many forms that may include being considered outcasts from the world around us, to the loss of our lives. Although most of us will not experience the latter, many of us will experience the former.
But Jesus is saying that we are in good company. Those who hate us or persecute us because of our love for Jesus will not know the joy that comes from being his followers. We must remember that Jesus was persecuted too. As followers of Jesus, we will experience a gift greater than any hardship we may have to endure. So although it may be difficult, we must remember that the problems of this present life will pass. We must remember that knowing and loving Jesus and experiencing the love Jesus has for us, will far outweigh any troubles we may experience from the world.

Peace and love,

"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

No comments:

Post a Comment