Focus on the Father: John 15:18-16:4

Focus Passage: John 15:18-16:4 (NASB)

Whenever I read this passage, I am struck by the words that Jesus says right at the beginning, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” (v. 18)

Jesus then goes on to share the truth that servants are not greater than their masters, and that the person who hates Jesus also hates the Father as well.

In the New Testament time period, religious people were the ones that seemed the most opposed to Jesus. The world outside Judea largely ignored what was going on in that region. With that said, was Jesus just talking about church people hating His true followers or is there more to this teaching?

As is often the case, I believe there is more to this teaching – a subtle hidden layer beneath the surface. We can find a clue to one of these subtle truths in John 15:21 and it is restated a second time in a different way in John 16:3.  This subtle truth is that the world does not know the Father.

We could expand this truth to say that the world might include everyone – both sacred “Christians” as well as secular atheists – who do not know the Father. Those who do not know the Father will never understand who Jesus was and why He came. These people will minimize Jesus’ role and His significance to being someone who had some good things to say but who probably should have kept better company since one of those in His inner circle of twelve betrayed Him.

This leads me into a big theme/idea that I see in this passage: I should be more focused on growing closer to Jesus and the Father than on caring what others think about me. My focus should not be on getting others to like me, but on modeling the Father’s love for humanity as demonstrated in Jesus’ life and ministry.

I will never be greater than Jesus, but I can be an example of who He is to today’s world – specifically to the little corner of the world that I live in!

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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