Friday, January 20, 2017

John 15: Lovers and Haters

Again and again, Jesus impresses upon His disciples that we are to follow His commands (15:10, 15:14), and that His command is for us to love one another (15:12, 15:17).  In spite of this, we will find that the world hates us.

So rooted are we to be in Christ that He declares Himself the vine, His Father the gardener, and His followers as the branches.  If we are to be fruitful (indeed, if we are to have life in us at all) we must remain connected to the vine.  We must strive to be an unbroken channel, receiving God's love through Christ and simultaneously sharing that love with others.

This is in contrast to the way the world works.  The world doesn't operate on the principle of love.  Instead, Jesus predicts that the world will hate the disciples.  There are two systems, Jesus says, and they are mutually exclusive (15:19).  When we experience hate or rejection from the world, we shouldn't be surprised.  This is precisely what happened to Jesus.  And if it happened to Jesus, it will happen to His followers as well.

In the end, there isn't any neutral ground.  We will either be lovers of God and His Son, or haters of them.

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