Scripture resource Passage: John 15
Animosity sent, received and understood bruises my soul. “I don’t like you and neither does anyone else!” Hard to take.
Many early disciples experienced the brutality revealed in Jesus’ words: “…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” (John 15:19b).
Precisely delivered, this truth from the wisdom of Jesus is a sobering insight into the potential life of a disciple.
However, and some might consider it rather technical, should we automatically grant that our Lord meant these words to be all inclusive? Will “the world,” always hate every disciple in each generation? Our reply resides not in the accuracy of Jesus, but in our understanding of “the world’s” identity.
One commentator explained, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). If “the world” is our demonic opponent, then yes, each disciple in every generation shall be hated.
Fortunately, disciples are not expected to live solitary lives. We are called to community, not isolation. Even those of us with the tendencies of introverts, ought always engage in discipleship with community support. Disciples are not called to the Lone-Ranger lifestyle.
The community of the King exists. When operating faithfully she provides appropriate resources even when disciples are being challenged to the point of martyrdom (Revelation 6:9). Many disciples have suffered from the attacks of both non-believers as well as disciple-dressed-antagonists who fancy themselves as doing righteous things. The challenge can be profound (Luke 14:28).
Are there prayerful actions you can take this week to sustain the believing community you know best?