John 15:18-27- The Hatred of the World
Explanation- The world hated Christ and all that He came to accomplish. Christ came into the world as light, yet men loved darkness and sought to rid themselves of the light. Christ revealed to man His sinful nature that he clings to so tightly. He exposed the works of darkness that men sought to do in secret. For this cause, men thought it best to rid the world of Christ. They wanted to get rid of the light. In the same way that Christ’s light flooded a world of darkness, so the Christian is called to be light as well. We are to be those vessels who display the light of Jesus Christ to a dark and disturbed world. We are sent to wake men from their slumber of sin and expose them to the light of the Gospel. Certainly, there will be those elect who are drawn to the light and turn from the darkness, but the world as a whole will hate the light that is in us just as they hated Christ. Can we expect any less? Christ said that a servant is not greater than his master. If the world persecuted Him, how can we expect a more ‘pleasant’ lot for ourselves? If we suffer, it is for Christ’s name sake that we suffer. We suffer for His cause and for His glory.
Interestingly enough Christ says that if the people had never heard His words or seen His works then they would not be guilty of sin. But because they witnessed these things they will now be held accountable for the knowledge they had access to. I do not take this to mean that those who have never heard the Gospel will not be held accountable for their sin. These statements seem to specifically apply to those who saw the works of Christ and denied them. Elsewhere He says that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for such as these. That is not to say that Sodom and Gomorrah will not be judged, but in some way the judgement on those who were without the truth will be less severe than on those who did have access to the truth. We are left to a certain amount of conjecture here, but I believe that based on the information that we have on the subject this is the conclusion that we can safely come to.
Application- True worshippers of God have always been hated by the world. We see this even in the Old Testament with the prophets of God. Those who came forward in the name of the Lord with a word of rebuke and correction were labeled enemies of the state and enemies of the people. This is the believer’s lot. We find ourselves in dangerous waters when all speak well of us. That is not to say that we should be intentionally seek strife with people, but our connection to the righteousness of Christ and the holiness of God is offensive to those who love their sin. People seek to protect what they value most, and for those who love the world, their highest value rests in their own personal autonomy and freedom to do as they please. If we are hated on account of righteousness then it is a blessed thing indeed! It is when we begin to look more like Christ that the world becomes offended by our very existence. Let this not hinder us from living the holy life that God prescribes. The treasure that awaits in heaven is worth all the dung that the world can throw our way!