Tuesday, January 28, 2014

They Hated him Without a Cause!

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin,[c] but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ (John 15:18-25)
“Whoever hates me hates my Father also.” You cannot love the Father and hate his son. It is impossible. You cannot worship God and reject Jesus Christ. If you do not worship Jesus Christ then you do not worship the Father. The idea that everyone has a different name for God. That the Muslim’s Allah, or even the God of the Jews is the same God as he whom Christians worship is disproven by these words. Both of these religions actively reject Jesus Christ and deny his claims. They call him a liar and therefore hate him. Therefore, they hate you. The servant is not greater than the master.
Hate is such a strong word. Natural man naturally returns hate for hate, bullets for bullets. It is necessary at times to do such things, return bullets for bullets. It is necessary to defend your neighbor’s property if not yours. It is necessary to defend women and children. Sometimes in this world growing smaller, this will even mean going a long way from home to do so. But then Jesus believes everyone is your neighbor and deserving of your love. Yes, even the oppressed of Iraq and Afghanistan. I think that is what makes me cringe with a lot of anti-war rhetoric that I hear today. Most of it sounds like selfish fear with no concern for the rest of the world. With no love for anyone but oneself. It seems odd that perhaps it is the soldier who is willing to kill, injure and destroy who perhaps loves more than those protesting the war with the vintage slogan “make love not war.” But then it is the soldier who is willing to put his life on the line, to lay down his life for his friends, to defend his neighbor’s property etc. and there is love in that. Love is what Jesus has called us to do. Love even our enemy, even those who hate us, love them even if they are Muslim or Jewish and would reject our God and hate our Lord. Our Lord loved them, even so much as to lay down his life for them, despite the fact that they hated him without a cause.

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