Friday 12 April, 2019

John 15:18-27

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ 26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Reading this passage I am filled with both hope but also dread.  No one wants to be hated, suffer and struggle in life through judgment because of his or her faith. Jesus is sharing this right before he goes to the cross.  He knows what is coming, Judas has already left to betray him, he knows that it is just a matter of time before Peter denies him and God, the Father, turns from him on the cross.  Jesus knows what is coming but uses this opportunity to encourage his disciples and now us, that we will suffer for our faith just as he did but that we can take heart because he is with us.

The passage just before discusses that Jesus is the True Vine and that when we remain and abide in him we bear much fruit however it is well known that the best grapes for wine are from plants that have suffered in life.  It is often the oldest vines, the ones who have gone through droughts, fires etc that produce the tastiest wine.   We as Christ followers will suffer for our faith however it is through this suffering that what is inside of us comes out and fruit is produced.   Jesus in verse 26 talks about the Advocate who he is sending to help us and who will testify about Jesus through us.  I love this.  That Jesus knew we weren’t ever going to be able to walk through the suffering and the hatred of this world alone so he sent the Holy Spirit to be the advocate.  The one who will support us throughout our afflictions.

Lord, I thank you that whatever I walk through, you understand it because you walked far greater suffering.  Help me to surrender to you and allow you to use me in great ways for your kingdom.  Help me remember that you have sent the advocate to live in me to represent you to this world. In Jesus name! Amen

Written by Ps. Annique Botta

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