April 21st, 2012
RG AUDIO 042112John 15:18-25
Self-giving love is costly because it must take place in a hostile world. Jesus himself faced such hostility even to the point of death. Jesus’ followers likewise faced hatred and persecution. Jesus warns his disciples that a fruitful life of self-giving love will have to be practiced not in an ideal, friendly world, but in a world that hates the message and the messenger.
The purpose of such warning is not that the disciples withdraw from the world into the safety of a sectarian commune. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. In his prayer in John 17:14-15, Jesus says that the world hates his disciples because they do not belong to the world. Nevertheless, his petition is not that God take them out of the world but to keep them from evil. The disciples’ call is to follow their Lord who did not shrink back from his mission even in the face of death.
What will be our response to the world’s hatred?