The Seeds Of Destruction

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Life in the public eye often breeds resentment. Those who speak up about truth and justice are rarely popular for long. Jesus knew his disciples would face hatred for following in his footsteps. Yet he also knew the Spirit would empower them to be faithful witnesses. So he prepared them in advance.

Jesus warned,”They will hate you for my name’s sake.” He told them this to steel their resolve, knowing hatred often tempts believers to waver. But he also counseled compassion, knowing most haters are ignorant of the Father and the Son. And he promised the Spirit’s help in bearing bold witness, even when society seemed squarely against them.

  1. Jesus warns his disciples that they will be hated by the world, just as he was hated. He tells them this to keep them from falling away when facing hatred.
  2. The hatred often comes from ignorance, not just maliciousness. The haters do not know God the Father or Jesus.
  3. When faced with hatred, the disciples are tempted to fall away or deconstruct their faith. But Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will help them bear witness about Jesus even in the face of persecution.
  4. When the disciples experience hatred, that can be a sign they are doing the right thing and following Jesus faithfully. But they must respond as witnesses, not whiners.
  5. The disciples are called to have compassion for their haters, and to pray for them like Jesus prayed for his persecutors – because the haters do not know the truth.

When hatred comes your way, will you take it personally, growing bitter? Or will you follow Jesus example, praying for those who hate you? Will you waver, backpedaling from truth? Or will you persevere, relying on the Spirit’s help? Will you whine about unfair treatment, seeking attention? Or will you seize the moment to bear witness to the kingdom, come what may?

The world’s hatred is a sign – not that you’ve failed, but that you’re getting something profoundly right. So let it strengthen your resolve instead of weakening it. Let it recall you to the Spirit’s help instead of distracting you with pain. And let it renew your compassion for those dying in ignorance, needing the Savior you know and love. Then the world’s hatred will only spread the gospel further through your faithful witness.


John 15:18-16:3

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