Summary: Exposition of John 15
Text: John 15:18-25, Title: I’m Gonna Eat Worms, Date/Place: NRBC, 8.25.13, AM
A. Opening illustration: The Qumran community and its teaching of loving its members and the hatred that it had from the world and for the world.
B. Background to passage: Jesus makes and abrupt shift in his tone from talking about leaving, the Spirit coming, the Vine and the Branches, and loving your friends to the hatred that you will receive from the world. Other places, Jesus taught that we are to love our enemies, and the world would see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven, and know that you are my disciples by the love that you have for one another, but now he says it will hate you.
C. Main thought: the hatred of the world
A. The Reasons The World Hates You
1. You are not of it (v. 19). Jesus says that He chose them (and us) out of the world. So our lives will look different. And for that they will hate us. Sure, we are to love our enemies, and we are to love sinners, but we are to really love the brethren. They will be jealous of that. We will give our money to things that they cannot explain, and they will hate that. Your finances will look different from them. Your morality will be different from them. Your education will be different from them. Your treasures will be different from them. And they hate things and people that threaten them. Some of you are like that…
2. For Jesus’ name sake (v. 21). The world hates because of Jesus name. The things that he stood for then and now. He stands for equality and truth. He stands for the poor, the lame, the widows, and the fatherless. He cries out that we should not lay up our treasure on earth. He says that we wash the outside of the cup and not the inside.
3. They don’t know God, but hate Him (v. 21, 23-24). Even in this text, Jesus equates himself and knowing him with God and knowing him. And so if you don’t love God, you don’t love Jesus, and vise-versa. You can’t shoot up a random prayer in your life when things are going bad to a Jesus that you know exists, and expect that it demonstrates your undying love for the Father who saves through faith in the Son. You cannot have God without Jesus. Not to love is to hate.
4. Jesus/our preaching, our lives convict them of sin (v. 22). The OT and NT that our lives should consistently teach are pointing out sin. But the worst sin, and the sin that Jesus speaks of here, is that of open rejection of the gospel of Christ. Most evangelical Christianity proclaims that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and you must believe in him as the only way to heaven. And to reject that leaves no excuse, and to tell them that brings hatred.
B. The Reaction To That Hatred
1. Remember it hated Jesus first, expect no less. (v. 18, 20) Jesus was preparing them for what was to come. He knew that these men would face a tough road ahead. He’s been there, done that, got the t-shirt, it was worse, he was more innocent, but he stayed faithful, he overcame, he beat it, took it into the grave, and rose victorious, and you can too!