STUDY 21: JOHN 15:18 -16:4 – THE FACT OF THE WORLD’S HATRED

© Rosemary Bardsley 2009

In his final teaching to his eleven disciples, Jesus has already:

      • Strongly affirmed his identity with the Father [14:1-11]
      • Strongly affirmed the Father’s readiness to answer their prayers in his name [ 14:12 -14; 15:7,8,16]
      • Given initial teaching about he gift of the Holy Spirit who will live within them [ 14:16 -26]
      • Referred to his impending death, both directly and indirectly [ 14:28 -31; 15:13 ]
      • Affirmed that their relationship with him is one of mutual indwelling [15:1-9]
      • Affirmed his great love for them [15:9]
      • Commanded them to love each other in the same way [ 14:15 ; 15:12 ,17]

When we move on to the next section of his teaching, we realize how essential all of the above is for them to hear, and how essential it is for them to love each other with this great love.

 

A. WHY THE WORLD HATES JESUS’ FOLLOWERS

Jesus now begins to talk about the world’s hatred.

From the following verses explain why the world hates those who belong to Jesus.

15:18,20

15:19

15:20,21

15:22,24

15:23

15:23,24

16:2

16:3

From these verses we learn that ‘the world’ has a completely different origin and identity from those who belong to Jesus. Though we once belonged to the world and shared its values we do so no longer. We now belong to Jesus, and we now identify with his origin and his values. So Jesus identifies that:

      • We, his followers, now have a different citizenship [19]; for this reason the world hates us.
      • We, his followers, now have an allegiance to Christ, the one they rejected [20,21]; they will therefore reject us also.
      • The world hated Jesus Christ so it will hate us, his followers [18,20].
      • The world does not know the One who sent Jesus and so will treat Jesus’ followers harshly [21].
      • The sin and guilt of the world is exposed by Christ’s coming, and working miracles, and teaching, which render them inexcusable [22,24].
      • The world hated both Jesus and the Father [23].
      • The world’s hatred of Christ is irrational [23-25], so his followers ought not expect rationality in the world’s attitude to them.
      • The world, in so far as it is religious, is governed by misdirected religious zeal [16:2].
      • The foundational reason for the [religious] world’s hatred of the followers of Christ is their ignorance of the Father and the Son [16:3].

 

B. HOW THIS HATRED IS EXPRESSED

From the following verses describe how the world’s hatred of Jesus’ followers is expressed.

15:20

 

16:2

16:

 

 

C. HOW TO COPE WITH THE WORLD’S HATRED

In the context of forewarning his friends of the world’s hatred, Jesus gives them a number of coping mechanisms.

From these verses identify how we are to cope with the world’s hatred.

15:20

15:26

15:27

16:1

16:4

Persecution and hatred has a high potential, humanly speaking, to make people give up and turn aside from their ‘faith’. Jesus, knowing that these eleven disciples, his friends, will face hatred and persecution said: ‘All this I have told you so that you will not go astray’ [16:1]. And here we have the one coping strategy above all others: that we keep going back to the teaching of Jesus, because it is the truths contained in that teaching that will continually remind us of and strengthen our faith.