Father God Almighty, help us to acknowledge Jesus and so acknowledge You who sent Him
5th Week of Easter : Saturday 21st May 2022
Acts 16:1-10; Ps. 99:2,3,5;
Jn. 15:18-21 (Ps Wk I)
In the Gospel reading, in the face of His imminent arrest, trial, suffering and crucifixion, Jesus highlighted to His disciples the world’s hatred of them. They will be hated – because it hated Jesus (v 18); because they “do not belong to the world” (v 19); because the world had already “persecuted” Jesus (v 20); and because the world “do not know the One Who sent” Jesus (v 21).
Why was Jesus hated? It was because He threatened the establishment through His radical teaching and lifestyle.
Why is it that as Jesus’ disciples, we “do not belong to the world”? We do not belong to the world because Jesus’ choice “withdrew” us “from the world” (v 19). And since we do not now belong to the world and the world would only love its own, it hates us (v 19). The Greek word for “love” here is phileo – a love that springs forth because of shared heritage and interests. As disciples of Jesus, our lifestyle, aspirations, commitments are progressively transformed to Jesus’. This transformation sets us apart from the world.
Why does the world persecute Christians? The world had already persecuted the “master” (Jesus); would the world not persecute the ‘servants’ of the ‘master’ (v 20)? When an ungodly world clashes with a holy Church of God – persecution will be inevitable!
Why does the world not know the One Who sent Jesus? It is because they refused to know Jesus. If they do not know Jesus, how could they see the One Who sent Him?
Lord, give us the courage, strength, tenacity and love to make You known, even if it means hatred and persecution.