Wednesday May 4th 2016
Memorise: Jesus said unto them, if God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. John 8:42
Read: John 15:17-21
“17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
As the time of the departure of Jesus began to draw near, He started talking to His disciples about the things that will befall them the moment when he would depart, so that they would not be caught unawares. These series of talks are generally referred to as the ‘farewell discourse’. The Bible reading for today is one of the farewell discourses, it points to the fact that the disciples would suffer hatred. John 15:20 says:
“Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”
Jesus said, if the world persecuted Him, then the disciples should expect a similar treatment in the hands of the people. Jesus told them that He was telling them ahead of time so that when these things began to happen, they would not be caught unawares. Jesus wanted His disciples to be fully ready for any eventuality.
What is the nature of the hatred that Jesus suffered in the hands of the people of the world? He was defamed, misrepresented, rejected unfairly, forsaken by friends and relatives, harassed, beaten, assaulted, abused, crucified and murdered. Jesus went further in John 15:21 to say:
“But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
The prophecy is not limited to the twelve apostles or those that were physically present with Him at that time. Jesus explained that this would be the fate of all that come after Him and live as true disciples. That the Church and people of God are presently operating under various kinds of attacks and persecution in many regions of the world is not news any longer. Christians are presently suffering untold hardships, insecurity, harassment, brutality, assaults, and murder. In fact, Jesus told the disciples that a time is coming that a person that kills a Christian would suppose that he is doing God a favour.
However, the Bible says we should count it all joy when we are faced with diverse temptations and persecutions, knowing that enough such challenges, we become exercised, our spiritual muscles get toughened and built-up.
Father, please give me the grace to remain adherent to You no matter what the devil throws my way.