April 14, 2024     11:42 am
96. Week of First Sunday in Lent - Thursday
If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you
          If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.   John 15:18
          The disciples of Jesus enjoy the love which loves Jesus, and must endure the hate which hates Him: they are loved by their fellow-disciples and hated by the unbelieving world. In the latter instance they must note the word of Jesus: "If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you." If we disciples of Jesus still were of the world the world would love us as its own; but because we are not of the world, but our Lord has chosen us out of the world and has made us His disciples, therefore the world hates us, for it hates Jesus. We must remember the word that Jesus said to His disciples on a former occasion: "The servant is not greater than his lord." If they have persecuted Jesus, they will also persecute us; and in the same way in which they accepted His Word, just so will they accept ours also, namely, they will not accept it, for it is the same Word. Just for the sake of the name and Word of Jesus the world hates us; for it is their own fault that they do not know God who sent Jesus. True, if the world, which in its unbelief hates Jesus, had not heard His Word, this guilt would not rest upon it, but now it has no excuse for its sin. What sin? The sin of hating Jesus and His Word. He that hates Jesus hates God the Father, who manifests Himself in Jesus. Thus the prophecy of the Son of God is fulfilled: "They hated Me without cause," Ps. 69:4. Who is it that really testifies of Jesus? It is the Comforter, whom Jesus has sent us from the Father, the Spirit of Truth that proceeds from the Father. And we Christians also bear witness of Jesus from the Word which the Holy Spirit has written through the Apostles. And what results? The true witnesses of Jesus are cast out by the unbelieving world, even by that part which decks itself with Jesus' name and calls itself the Church of God. Indeed, there have been times, and they may return, that whoever kills the witnesses of Jesus thinks that he is doing God a service. Let no disciple of Jesus be offended at this. Jesus has foretold it; we must bear it in mind. The unbelieving world, both in secular and spiritual garb, knows not, nor does it want to know, either the Father or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Therefore it hates the disciples and witnesses of Jesus. The hatred which the world bears us because of Jesus' name is testimony to the fact that we belong to Jesus, and that His Spirit rests upon us. (John 15:18-16.)
          PRAYER: - O Lord, almighty Son of God, who cares for Your children with a loving father's care, and foreknows all things that will befall Your Church, and the faithful witnesses of the Truth in particular, we thank You that You forewarn us of this and insure us against being surprised or offended by this occurring. I pray You graciously to grant the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to me, too, that I may fearlessly confess Your truth, suffer gladly for its sake, remain true to You and Your Word, and both in success and adversity praise and magnify You. Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
April 14, 2024     11:42 am