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Thursday, 05 August 2021 00:00
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John 15:18-25  

Many early disciples experienced the brutality revealed in Jesus’ words: “…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” (John 15:19b). 

Animosity sent, received and understood bruises my soul. Being told, “I don’t like you and neither does anyone else!” hard to take. This reality, as precisely delivered truth from the wisdom of Jesus, is a sobering insight into the potential life of a disciple. As readers of Jesus’ words, we should always consider the first hearers.

However, should we automatically grant that our Lord meant these words to be all inclusive? Will “the world,” always hate every disciple in each generation? Our reply to this question resides not in the accuracy of Jesus but in our understanding of “the world’s” identity. 

Our brother Paul may have been grappling with this issue. He explained, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). If “the world” is our demonic opponent, then yes, each disciple in every generation shall be hated.

Fortunately, disciples are not expected to live in solitary cells. We are called to community, not isolation. Even those of us with the tendencies of introverts, ought always to engage in discipleship with community support. Disciples are not called to the Lone-Ranger lifestyle in which we gallop through life as if we were in the Outback, or a western scrubland without companions." alt="" width="170" height="96" />The community of the King exists. When operating faithfully she provides appropriate resources even when disciples are being challenged to the point of martyrdom (Revelation 6:9). This is true in spite of the fact that many disciples have suffered from the attacks of both non-believers as well as disciple-dressed-antagonists who fancy themselves as doing righteous things. The challenge can be profound (Luke 14:28).

Life Applications

Are there prayerful actions you can take this week to sustain the believing community you know best?


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