Read John 15:18 – 16:4

This teaching from Jesus is on the heels of His message to His disciples about remaining in Him … abiding always attached to Him.  He tells them that their lives will bear fruit if they abide in Him.  It is the beautiful up-side of living in Christ!  Now, He turns His attention to another result of remaining in Him.  Jesus was always honest with His followers.  He always told them to “count the cost” of discipleship.  These verses remind the disciples about counting the cost.  And He would remind us as well.  The true follower of Jesus will not be popular in the world. 

By “world” … Jesus was, of course, not referring to the crated world.  Jesus is referring to the “human society organizing itself without God”.  That system will never be at peace with the people of God.  That system will never applaud the people of God.  Why not?  Because we are to be the ones shining light into the darkness that is in this world.  Remember the words of Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3: 19 – 20:

This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Jesus reminds His followers again of that reality.  When they remain in Him, walk as He walked, strive to do as He did … the world will hate it and hate them as well.  After all … the “world” is about to kill Jesus!  That is hatred run to its extreme end.

Jesus is warning them so that it will not come as a surprise.  It should come as no surprise to us either.  It’s not that we deliberately antagonize the “world” … but we do not court its favor.  We march to a different drummer … and that drummer is our Lord. 

The warning that I see for us is this:  Let’s be sure that any antagonism and hatred we reap from the world is because of our Christ-likeness … and not because we are being self-righteous, or judgmental, or exclusive.  We are to be Christ’s body … living out His life in our own places and circles.  When that reaps hatred from the world … so be it!  When antagonism from the world comes because of our pride and/or arrogance, Lord forgive us! 

Lord, I pray that we will have the eyes to see when our behaviors and attitudes are a reflection of You and when they are an extension of our own self pride.  Our desire is that our lives be a true testimony to who You are … and through Your Spirit … may it be.