The Hatred of the World

The Hatred of the World

Barry Metz 05/03/15

The Hatred of the World

John 15:18–16:4

The email from our missionaries who minister to Muslims inNorth Africa through radio and tv—the email said this…

We have an urgent request to share with you. A believing sister, Fatima, in Tangier has been taken in for questioning by the police; they have searched her apartment and are threatening to put her in jail. That’s all the information we have at the moment. Please lift her up. Thank you for standing with us. Your brother N. (N dared not give us his full name lest his identity be discovered)

Several days later N. sent another email: Hello dear friends, Thank you for lifting up our sister! Below is an update from friends who have been walking closely with her in this... I saw her this morning! She is not in jail!!! Amen!

Here are some brief details on what happened...On Mondayshe was in the home of friends when her daughter called to tell her the police had come to her home and were demanding she be at the station by10am. She arrived and was questioned until10 pm. The questioning was precipitated by a petition signed by every single one of her neighbors stating that she is a J follower (a Jesus follower) and has been causing "problems" in their building. They filed a legal complaint that said she was gathering other believers in her home for singing and prayer (this is not true and never happened). They said that they wanted her to be evicted from the building. They’ve even told the nearby stores not to sell to her. These are the same neighbors who broke into her home this fall and broke, burned, or stole almost everything in it…and who (urinated) on her door everyday and who have harassed her daughter greatly as well.

And soshe was taken into custody and questioned about why she was a J follower. They said, "You’re an old woman, why would you change your religion now?" She told one policeman the reason was that she finally knew what was true. After that he hit her in the face. Later she was hit again for saying something similar. They told her, if you will just tell us who told you these things, you can go. She told them, "I know the truth simply by watching the difference between M*s1ims and J followers." After 12 hours at the police station they went to her apartment and searched her home. They found some videos and an mp3 player with "the Book", and threatened to take her to jail.

The next day, she spent the day in court. At the end of her hearing, she waited for the judge to tell her if she was going to jail or could go free. The judge said, "Go on your way." She couldn't believe it!

She has been totally cut off from any kind of fellowship or community because she knows she is being followed and watched and doesn't want to endanger anyone else…The email goes on… “We do want to highlight some of the amazing ways your beseeching the throne helped our sister. She said she felt totally at peace in the police station and answered confidently and without fear. One lady sitting next to her told her, "My problems here are so small compared to yours and yet I am trembling and you are not afraid." She said that she just thought of things to say quickly to protect all the people in her life and felt like the right words just came to her. She said she felt like God was helping her to be brave and strong. When the policemen hit her she said "I just thought of someone much better than me whom men also hit."[1]

The hatred of the world…

Now I can imagine you’re thinking, “I’ve never experienced anything like that.” Well I feel the same way. Perhaps you and I have been snubbed by a co-worker because of our faith or we’ve had a door slammed in our faces when we were out witnessing door to door on a mission trip. Or we’ve just been marginalized by those we know because we’ve stood for Christ. But we’ve never faced anything like that woman.

Well the disciples who were with Jesus on the night before he died could say the same thing, “I’ve never experienced anything like that” (Oh they had encountered some rejection. There was the time Jesus sent messengers ahead of him into a Samaritan village and the Samaritans wouldn’t receive them…that was rejection… and you remember the response of James and John, “Jesus is it time for some Elijah-like fire from heaven?[2]) The disciples had faced rejection and even the fury of angry religious leaders but Jesus took the brunt of most of that, didn’t he?

So it makes sense that Jesus--on the night before he was crucified, knowing the future, knowing that the world would come at the disciples with all the hatred it could muster—it makes sense that Jesus would preparehis disciples for what they might face. (Several themes run through John chapters 13-16 and one of those key themes is Jesus preparing the disciples for what they will face so they would not fall away…to be forewarned is to be forearmed)

If you’ve got your bible, follow me as I begin reading in John 15, verse 18…John 15:18….

18“If the world hates you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If 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. 20Remember 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. 21But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If 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. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If 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. 25But 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. 27And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

16“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.2They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. 4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

The word ‘hate’ shows up 8 times in the verses that we’ve read. Let me suggest an outline of the passage on the screen….

I. What Christians should expect as they relate to the world (John 15:18-25)

Let’s dig into the passage. In verses 18, 19, and 20 we get three reasons, one in each verse, why we should expect hatred as we relate to the world.

The first reason we should expect hatred as we relate to the world, vs. 18, is because Jesus was hated. If the world hates you (and the assumption is that it will) know that it has hated me before (it hated)[3] you.

Notice in verse 18, at least in the ESV, the word hated shows up three times. The tense of the second word communicates that the hatred against Jesus continues into the present; in other words the “world’s persecution of Christ is no passing phenomenon.”[4] He was hated in the past and that hatred continues.

The second reason we should expect hatred as we relate to the world, vs. 19, is that the world perceives that we’re outsiders. Look at verse 19 19If 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.

One author says this… “The world would not hate angels for being angelic; but it does hate men for being Christians. It grudges them their new character; it is tormented by their peace; it is infuriated by their joy.”[5]

You see if we were of the world and looked like and sounded like the world, if we did everything that the world did, the world would not hate us. It would love us and regard us at its own.[6]

Imagine a junior higher pulled out of school for a day and given a complete makeover—shiny shoes, three-piece suit, flashy haircut, the works. And he comes to school dressed like that. (A junior higher’s dream, right!) What would the other kids do? First they’d think ‘he’s an outsider.’ Then they’d begin to pick at him and ostracize him because he’s different. So it is with us in the world as Christians; we are outsiders. We look different. We act different. And we sound different.

“The world is a society of rebels, and therefore finds it hard to tolerate those who are in joyful allegiance to the king to whom all loyalty is due.”[7]

It apparently deeply irritates the world that we Christians don’t go along with their ways, that we don’t find our deepest joys, our resources, our interests in the world. It apparently deeply irritates the world that we are out of step with everything in the world.[8]


With the use of the word world we’re not talking about the planet earth full of people in a neutral sense. We’re talking about the “created moral order in active rebellion against God”[9]

Is it an affront to you to remind you that everything around you—the created moral order that you and I swim in every day—is in active rebellion against God?

Look at 1 John 2:15-17 in the New Living Translation on the screen.

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. The craving for physical pleasure, the craving for everything we see and the pride in our achievements is not from the Father.

James 4:4 says it even moredirectly… 4You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Are we friends of God or friends with the world? We can’t be both.

And there’s another point too--as we as Christians begin to look and sound more and more like our Savior, I’m convinced we will be hated more. [10]

Well verse 20 gives us the third reason we should expect hatred as we relate to the world.

20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they chased me like a wild beast (and that’s the sense of the word persecute)[11], they will chase you like a wild beast. Doesn’t that describe the lady’s story at the beginning of the message?

Back in John 13:16, Jesus used this same phrase --A servant is not greater than his master--and the emphasis was on humble service. If the master takes on humble service, then clearly the servant should take on humble service. Here the emphasis is “If I’m the master, and I am hated…it only makes sense that youservants of the master will be hated too.”

As Christians we are called to stand in for Christ in every way.

But verse 20 continues…If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. Now these words don’t seem to fit do they?

What is Jesus saying? One way to understand Jesus’s words is like this---“If they persecuted me (and many of them did), they will persecute you also; if they obeyed my teaching (and some of them did) they will obey your teaching also.”[12]

And so the thrustof what Jesus is saying then is that just as human beings divided around Jesus, they will divide around Jesus’ followers.

Well in verse 21, Jesus says the real issue is that the persecutors don’t know the Father…they will do these things on account of my name, on account of me because they don’t know him who sent me.

And verse 22 tells us they have no excuse … If I had not come and spoken to them they would not have been guilty of sin. Clearly Jesus is not saying that if he had not come into the world, there wouldn’t be sin in the world. No his point is that his coming and speaking incited full scale rebellion against God,[13]his coming and speaking made their sin “especially inexcusable.”[14]

but now they have no excuse for their sin.

“Jesus’ remarkable presence, his deep words, and particularly his striking deeds—think about the long-time sick man (38 years), the Blind man (blind from birth), and Lazarus(raised from the dead)”[15]—Jesus’s remarkable presence, his deep words, and particularly his striking deedsleave those who experienced him without excuse.

Didn’t Jesus in a sense say the same thing to the cities around the Sea of Galilee where he had done many great works? Look at Matthew 11:20-22 on the screen.

Those who saw Jesus’ works and heard his words are without excuse. And the hatred expressed toward him is hatred expressed toward the Father also (vs. 23-24). To hate Jesus is to hate the Father.

We’ve seen this ultra-close connection between Jesus and the Father repeatedly in John. To see Jesus is to see the Father.[16] When Jesus speaks the Father speaks.[17] When Jesus acts, the Father is acting.[18] And so to hate Jesus is to hate the Father and to accept Jesus is to accept the Father.

But verse 25 assures us, that none of the hatred toward Christ (and Christians) should be seen as jeopardizing God’s plan. Even the hateful rejection of Christ (and Christians) serves to fulfill what is written in their law…and here ‘law’ is used as a stand-in for the entire Old Testament…

25But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

Seems ironic doesn’t it that even the hatred of Christ (and Christians) is a fulfillment of scripture? This quotation could come from either Ps. 35[19]or Psalm 69[20]. It seems that most students of scripture assume it comes from Psalm 69, “a psalm written by David that has been quarried for quotations by NT writers more than any other OT passage.”[21]

“If David could be hated for no reason, how much more the Messiah who would spring from his loins”[22]?

The Junior High class has been going through 1 Samuel. For the longest time David was hated for no reason. By who? Saul.

I read Luke 23 the other day and was surprised at how much hating there was of Jesus without a cause…

Luke 23:4 “I find no guilt in this man” Pilate said

Luke 23:14 “I did not find this man guilty” Pilate said

Luke 23:22 “What evil has he done?” Pilate said

Luke 23:41 “This man has done nothing wrong!” Do you know who said that? One of the


Luke 23:47 “Surely this man was innocent” the Centurion

Jesus was hated without a cause. Christians should expect hatred without a cause as they relate to the world.

Think about the lady in the opening illustration. Don’t you know that when she found urine on her porch that she often wondered to herself, “What have I done to deserve this?” Or when all of her furniture was stolen? Or when the policeman hit her? “What have I done?”

She had done nothing. Like her Savior she was hated without a cause.

Well we come to the second point in the outline. Let me put the outline up on the screen again.