Is it because I give to the needy? Is it because I am compassionate to the undeserving? Is it because I help the sick at my own peril? Is it because I endure your ridicule? No, it is because of Jesus.
As a Christian who shares the gospel, I have experienced the hate of some. Don’t misunderstand me. There are some who will earnestly listen to the gospel. Out of those most don’t repent and believe, but at least they were genuinely interested in listening to what I had to say. There are others who feign interest. Some just walk away while they shake their heads and mumble. I’m not talking about any of these types. I am talking about the type who get outraged that you would even dare to mention the, “J” word to them! The people who get so angry that you are afraid they might punch you in the face. It is as if you burned their house down or something. These are the types I am talking about.
We all know that the Bible tells us we will be hated and mistreated, but until it happens to you it is difficult to grasp why. You might see yourself doing all kinds of benevolent things and loving on people like no bodies business, so it is a shock to you when someone hates you. Jesus said, “…32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”…” in John 10:32-33 (NASB) This often sticks in my head. Jesus’ biggest offense was to claim to be God. Some of the Pharisees hated Him for this. It was a good reason to stone Him to death according to them. We can see this same attitude today towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Think about it for a moment. All of the kind loving things you have done in Christ’s name, poof! Vanish in a moment out of the memory of the hateful person who recoils at the mention of Jesus. It is all fine and dandy as long as you are being benevolent, but mention the reason why you are being loving and merciful and watch out. The next thing you might see could be a rock headed for your noggin. It just doesn’t compute to us right off why someone would respond like that, but we have to look at some truths to understand. If a person is not saved they are a friend of the world. James 4:4 says, “…You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. …” So if you are God’s child how do you suppose the enemy will desire to treat you? In John 15:18-20 Jesus says, “…18“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave 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.…” It makes me wonder if we aren’t too concerned with having easy or being well liked. I mean, nobody likes to get hurt or suffer right, but Jesus was pretty clear about capitulating and being a friend of the world. Cheer up though, if you are sharing the gospel in the face of this suffering Jesus also said this to His disciples, “… 21“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22“You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.
23“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes. …” If we learn from their example, we can see that all, but John was martyred for their testimony of Christ crucified. They persevered all the way to the end. We can to with God’s grace.