The World's Hatred
18If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and this is why its people hate you. 20 Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say.
21People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don't know the one who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.
23Everyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24I have done things no one else has ever done. If they had not seen me do these things, they would not be guilty. But they did see me do these things, and they still hate me and my Father too. 25 This is why the Scriptures are true when they say, “People hated me for no reason.”
26I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and will tell you about me. 27Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
1I am telling you these things, so that you will not turn away. 2You will be chased out of the synagogues. And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor. 3They will do these things because they don't know either the Father or me. 4I am saying this to you now, so that when the time comes, you will remember what I have said.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
I was with you at the first, and so I didn't tell you these things.
In this passage, Jesus breaks the news to us. We will be persecuted.
It broke news recently that the City of Toronto banned Christian events featuring songs that praise Jesus in public venues. Why? Because it is proselytizing. I’m stunned. Hundreds of groups shout their philosophies from public venues every year in Toronto, in parades, concerts, marathons, and fundraisers. Each event owns an audience that applauds their specific philosophy. And most of us have no problem with others cheering for their own special interests and causes.
But Toronto bans singing about Jesus? Wow. We can croon about lust, lies, and liquor. We rap about violence, rape, and killing. But don’t sing about Jesus.
Canada is considered an open-minded, hospitable nation that welcomes diversity. Perhaps no more. The Christian faith that established godly principles that make this country a coveted place to live – safe, peaceful, bountiful, humanitarian, and just – that very faith is discarded lest we offend someone. We call it social enlightenment but, underneath, evil masquerades as tolerance. It will decline into cataclysm and chaos.
Sign of the times? Yes. Jesus predicts we will suffer as he did. We will be mocked, beaten, killed – for no reason except that we follow Jesus. Daily in other nations, we witness deadly persecution of Christians. In Canada, the insidious persecution of believers is creeping into our schools and businesses. God calls it the work of the enemy who seeks to destroy.
You scared? I am. But John 15:26 promises a Helper. The Holy Spirit will attend us and show us the truth. He will calm all fear and remind us whose we are. Remember his promise when the world reels out of control: the Holy Spirit will help us. Despite the ruin of the world around us, we will not fear, but live in joy and peace. Don’t lose heart.
Holy Spirit, help me be alert and clear-headed. Help me look for you and listen to you when the world threatens. Help me walk with courage and wisdom in a godless society. Through Jesus Christ, Amen.