John 15:22-25

[Jesus said:] "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.'"

Again, Jesus makes a startling statement: "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."

What does he mean? Is Jesus saying that people wouldn't be sinful if he hadn't come? No. He's saying that his coming and his teachings have removed any excuse people might have had for their sin. Jesus, the Light of the World, has exposed the darkness of sin.

It's like when you walk into a dark room and turn on the light. Suddenly, all the dirt and clutter that was hidden in the darkness is revealed. You can't pretend it's not there anymore. That's what Jesus has done. Through his teaching and his life, he has shown us what God's holiness and love look like. And in that light, our sin is exposed.

Jesus goes on to say that hatred for him is also hatred for the Father. This is because Jesus and the Father are one. To reject Jesus is to reject God himself. It's a sobering thought. When we dismiss or ignore Jesus, we're not just rejecting a good teacher or a wise man or a prophet. We're rejecting the very God of the universe.

But perhaps the most painful part of this passage is when Jesus says, "They hated me without reason." Despite all the good Jesus did, despite his love and compassion, despite his miracles and his truth, people still hated him. And they hated him not because of anything he had done wrong but simply because of who he was.

Isn't that often the case with hatred? It's not based on reason or justice. It's irrational and unfounded. And yet, as Jesus' followers, we can expect to face this same kind of hatred. Not because we've done anything to deserve it but simply because we belong to Christ.

So what do we do in the face of such hatred? We remember Jesus' words from the previous passage. We love. We pray. We bless. We do good. Not because the world deserves it, but because Christ commands it. And as we do, we bear witness to the transforming love of God.

Do you face hatred because of your faith? Remember, you're in good company. Jesus faced it, too. Lean on his strength, and let your love shine all the brighter in the darkness.

God bless you.

More in this category: « John 15:18-21 John 15:26-27 »
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