Q1 Who is the 'world' that Jesus referred to in John 15:18?
The 'IF' in the "If the world hates you ..." tell us that not all in the world hate us or Jesus Christ. There are three groups of people in the world toward Jesus.
- The Group that Hates Jesus
- They tend to be the religious leaders of Jesus' day. They were the ones that incite people to stone Jesus and eventually put Jesus on the cross.
- These are Jesus' followers. That are some that did not follow Jesus physically but follow His teachings. Mark 9 recorded someone casting demon in Jesus' name that resulted in Jesus' statement of Mark 9:40 For the one who is not against us is for us.
- These are people that don't know about Jesus, don't care about it or are seeking and considering. This group is temporary. They have to decide to follow or not before their death. At the final count, only those who know and follow Jesus count. Mat 12:30 and Luke 11:23 "Whoever is not with me (against the devil - added by me for clarity) is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
- Hate Jesus - because they do not know the Heavenly God that sent Jesus v21.
- Hate Us - because
- we are not of them. v19
- we are chosen by Christ out of the world v19
- we, the servants of Christ are not greater than Christ. They persecute Christ and will persecute us. v20.
Yes. They don't have excuses that they don't know. They fulfilled the prophecy that "They hated Jesus without a cause"v 25 .Reasons are:
- Jesus had come and spoke to them about Himself -sent One of God. v22
- He who hates Jesus also hate His heavenly Father God.
- Jesus had done mighty works that no one ever did among them. They witnessed them and yet hated Jesus v24.
There are two types of witnesses now.
- The Holy Spirit that was sent from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, will bear witness about Jesus v26.
- We, the follower of Jesus, who had know Jesus from the beginning directly or indirectly v27.
We are the only ones physically on the earth to bear witness for Christ. The Holy Spirit, sent to be in us, will bear witness for Jesus and also convict the world (we will learn this in John 16). The secret of witnessing is there is to listen and be guided by the Holy Spirit in our witnessing. Let the Holy Spirit gives us the leading, boldness and wisdom to share the words and also through our works. Witnessing is not just by speech but by work of love and faith.
Q6 How should we handle the objections and persecution that we may face in our witnessing?
- Do not be surprised or upset because we have been told by Jesus already.
- Do not take it personally and be offended because it is Jesus that they hate. There is nothing wrong with you. It is that they don't know Jesus.
- Feel free to leave them until other time that Holy Spirit lead. They are not the men of peace yet.
- The key thing is not be discouraged. Witnessing is the job of the Holy Spirit as well and not just you. Luke 10:6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest on it: if not, it shall turn to you again.