Unpopular Faith

John 15:18
"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, 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.’
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
     In our world today, where faith can often be seen as unfashionable or even offensive, Jesus' words in John 15:18-27 are more relevant than ever. In this passage, Jesus warns his disciples about the inevitable opposition they would face because of their association with him. He didn't sugarcoat the reality of their mission; instead, he equipped them with the truth to prepare them for the journey ahead.

     In verses 18-20, Jesus says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." These words are as real today as they were then. Being a follower of Christ often means going against the grain, standing up for truth and justice even when it's unpopular, and being a voice for the voiceless. Christians are called to be different, to be in the world but not of it, and this distinction can lead to rejection and persecution.

     To fully grasp the weight of these verses, we need to understand the context. Jesus is speaking during the Last Supper, just before his arrest and subsequent crucifixion. He knows he is about to leave his disciples in a world that would not understand or accept them, a world that would hate them for his sake. But Jesus doesn't leave his disciples in despair. In verses 26-27, he brings a message of hope: "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."

     Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who will equip them to testify about Jesus. The Spirit not only comforts and guides but also empowers the believers to witness boldly despite opposition.

     So, what does this passage mean for us today? How can we live out this countercultural calling in our present context?

  1. Expect Opposition: As Jesus warned, if we are living out our faith authentically, we should expect opposition. This can take various forms, from ridicule and social isolation to more severe forms of persecution. It's not a sign of failure; it's a sign we're doing something right.
  2. Rely on the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is still active and working in us today. We must rely on the Spirit's power and guidance to stand firm in our faith and witness to others about Jesus.
  3. Embrace Our Calling: We're called to be different, to live lives marked by love, justice, and truth, no matter how unpopular this may be. This is our testimony to the world about the transformative power of Christ.

     In the face of opposition, may we find strength and courage in Jesus' words. We are not alone. We have the Holy Spirit within us, and we have a mission to fulfill - to testify about Jesus, who loved us enough to lay down his life for us.

No Comments




no categories