John, The Love of God
After delay upon delay you get between the TV and your child. You tell the child to leave the TV and go clean his/her room. You follow the child to make sure they don’t take another route to delay the task. You sit on the bed to make sure the process begins. As you rise to go back to your own work, your dearly beloved mumbles something under his/her breath. You ask, “what did you say?” And you get an answer that breaks your heart. “I hate you!”
You have a friend who has asked for your advice about a troubling matter. You see the truth of the matter and express it because they asked and because you love them dearly. You don’t see that person for days. When you do see them, there is now hate where there was love in their eyes. They didn’t want truth, they only wanted validation for their sin and misery.
Jesus said, “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start by hating me.” I cannot imagine hating Jesus. In fact, how it must break the heart of God for people to yell hateful words, like the parent of the child who has been told to simply clean their room. It seems we hate…for no good reason.
John 15, The Message
Hated by the World
18-19 “If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you.
20 “When that happens, remember this: Servants don’t get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them.
21-25 “They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don’t know the One who sent me. If I hadn’t come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn’t be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. Hate me, hate my Father—it’s all the same. If I hadn’t done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn’t be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. Interesting—they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, ‘They hated me for no good reason.’
26-27 “When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.”
“I’ve told you these things to prepare you for rough times ahead.”
What do we learn?
–Jesus loves us. Jesus loves all people. He loves those who hate him. “Love your enemies”, He teaches all of us. So when hate is spewed, do not hate back. Love…like He loves.
–The world will hate us but be amazed by God’s love in us if we return love for their hate.
–It rough when your own child says they hate you, but remember they are only frustrated because you challenged them. Return God’s love and remind them that you will love them no matter what…but they still have to clean their room. Don’t take it personally.
–When a friend leaves because you loved them and told them the truth in love, they will find their way back to you if they love God, too. Continue to pray for them.
–When a person betrays you, remember Jesus was betrayed, too. He loved still, so do we.
–“They hated me for no good reason,” says Jesus. Oh how true this is! Hate is a strong emotion that comes from a deep fear of making us change our comfortable ways. Hate is a willful reaction to someone challenging our own strong will to do it our way to being and doing life better. We hate criticism. We hate what is different. We hate change. Period.
–Jesus is the Way Maker. He is also the Change Maker. He accepts where we are, but loves us enough not to leave us there.
–Jesus promises Help. His Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth from God, “will confirm everything about me”, says Jesus. For those who believe The Way and The Truth live Life guided by His Holy Spirit. Yes! What a wonderful Counselor. He never leaves us and will always be there to help us through troubling, challenging times.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your Spirit who guides us, relentlessly loves us and helps us love those who hate us like they hated you…for no good reason. Continue to help us love like you love. Help us defuse hate with Your Love in us, flowing through us.
In Jesus Name, Amen