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Day 33 - Jesus Explains Hate

Video Host: Chris Stanley - Illinois DYD


Big Scripture: John 15:18–25 (NLT)

18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’

Big Idea:

Hate is a strong word. As a kid, you probably were told by a parent not to say you hate something or someone because that word has so much power in it—the power to hurt others. In this passage, Jesus explains that we should not be surprised when the world hates people who love and follow Jesus. When Jesus speaks of “the world,” He is talking about the values, priorities, and desires of an evil, rebellious system. Jesus isn’t saying that every person in the world who isn’t a Christian should or will hate you. Christians should have friends who don’t believe the same as them. When we use our belief as a weapon to make others hate us, we don’t have the heart of Jesus. He was often found in the company of those far from God. Jesus knew how to love people different than Him while also living a life that invited them to something better. The goal is not to be hated, but Jesus said it will still happen. Why?

Every human heart wants to rule itself—to be its own king. It’s in our nature to rebel. We don’t want someone else setting the rules for us or telling us how we should live. However, Jesus came not just to be our friend and our Savior, but also to be our Lord and our King. Without experiencing the goodness and grace of God, people will always hate the idea of Jesus as King. And people who hate Jesus as King will often hate His people.

In this passage, Jesus says that He chose His disciples to come out of the world. Sometimes Christians interpret this to mean we should isolate ourselves from interaction with non-Christians and that holiness is about separation FROM something. While holiness does include separation from certain things, it also is about being set apart FOR something—for Jesus and for His mission. Read John 17:13–15 to better understand what Jesus had in mind for His followers’ role in the world.

The amazing thing is that Jesus gave His life for those people who hated Him. He even prayed for the very people who crucified Him. We should do the same and pray for those who hate us. Don’t fight hate with hate. Overcome evil with good.

Big Questions:

· What kind of food do you hate? Why?

· What are some reasons why people don’t like the idea of Jesus as King?

· What did Jesus pray for those who hurt Him?

· What are some ways we can respond in love to people who hate and hurt us?

Big Prayer:

God, Thank You that You don’t hate us and that You love us. Thank You that even when we hated You, You didn’t give up on loving us. The Bible says that while we were still Your enemies, Jesus gave His life for us. Jesus, thank You for enduring such hardship and hatred in our place. Help me to be like You and not respond to hate with hate. Help me to overcome evil with good. Give me the grace and strength to love those who are different than me. Remind me in those moments of how You loved me when I was far from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.