John 15:18–25 (NKJV)
In the previous passage we discussed in this chapter, Jesus speaks of the need to love one another as the Father loved Him. In this passage, Jesus speaks of how to deal with those who hate you.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet 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 keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’John 15:18-25
Jesus establishes the sad truth that some people (the world) will hate you because you represent Christ, Whom they already hated. This may not seem very encouraging, but it nevertheless the jagged truth relating to the resistance of the world to anything that chafes against their own moral (or immoral) code. This antagonistic relationship is not necessarily with individuals, as much as it is the powers of evil and darkness in the world. However, it comes to the doorstep of the church in the form of groups, individuals and causes that are opposed to the actions and beliefs of the those who follow Christ. Jesus then confirms the state of such opposers of the church. They have seen the truth, they have seen the Way, yet they refuse to believe. Therefore they will face judgment, and they fulfill a prophetic word that “They hated Me without a cause.”
This tells the reader that there will be persecution and resistance and even violence against the people of Jesus Christ. It also tells the reader that their enemies plight is certain as well. Their end will come with judgment. But the great news is that just as Jesus prevailed, so shall the people of Jesus. We have security in Him. We will make it through the times of trouble, because He is with us. Let the haters hate, for the Lord will give us the victory!