This is the hard reality of our mission to make God known – the world is not a friendly audience.
When I read this next part I see one reason it was really important the disciples were told to love one another – they were going to need some friends!
Jesus tells them:
“It’s very likely the world is going to hate you. You remember they hated Me– well, you’re with Me– I pulled you out of the world so they know – you are not with them. I am so offensive because I acted out My Father’s wishes. I told them the truth and I showed them the truth and by their own choosing they rejected it. But now they are stuck and uncomfortable because once you see it… well, now they are looking for someone to blame besides themselves…so they are blaming Me and they will blame you, too. Just so you know, all this was written in the Law so it’s no surprise.”
(Reminds me of the lines from A Few Good Men when Tom Cruise says, “I just want the truth!” and Jack Nickolson shouts back, “You can’t handle the truth!” The world wants a god of its own making. Sadly until that idol is toppled – they can’t handle the truth.)
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
Jesus is not leaving them to be His witnesses on their own. The Helper is coming. (I don’t know how much the world will see the Helper but I know He is the one who keeps reminding me of who Jesus is in my life.)
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”
Jesus does not want His disciples to be shocked or surprised – There are going to be some really tough times. “Put out of the synagogues” – think outcast from everything you have known before. And this is cheery – “whoever kills you will think he is serving God” – misunderstood for sure and maybe martyred!
(Jesus says the purpose for telling is so they won’t fall away? Hit the ground running in the opposite direction would make more sense…but there is something about knowing Jesus that holds me to Him. Like Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). So, in some crazy way, Jesus’ warning is just letting me know what to expect. I’ll remember He told me and I’ll be strengthened because of it.)
God defines Himself.
Having known Jesus, there really is no turning back.
About the World?
God is not of man’s making. We could have never imagined