Lesson 74: John 15:18-25 – Why the World Hates Us

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

You're listening to Lesson 74 from the sermon series "The Gospel of John" by Pastor Ricky Kurth. When you're done, explore more sermons from this series.



People hate Christians because they hate Christ (John 15:18). Why do they hate Christ? Because their deed are evil and His weren’t (John 3:19,20). I was bad at math, and didn’t like people who were good at it, for it made me look bad by comparison, and the Lord made sinners look bad by comparison!

Of course, I hated smart people in the Biblical sense of loving them less (Gen.29:30,31), but if one of them had called me dumb, I’d have hated them in the more traditional sense! And that’s what happened to the Lord, for in addition to making men look bad, He told them they were evil (John 7:7).

Telling men they are evil will always cause men to hate you (IKi.22:7,8). If you tell men that abortion or same-sex marriage is wrong, they will hate you. But even if you say nothing about things like that, they will hate you when you tell them that they are so evil they need a Savior.

Of course, if you never tell them that, the world will love you (John 15:19), especially if you join them in their evil. There’s nothing sinners like more than other sinners (John 7:7). If you’re covetous, you like covetous people (Ps.10:3). Misery loves company, and so do sinners!

And in God’s eyes, that is their worst sin. In describing a bunch of men’s sins, Paul saved the worst for last when he spoke of men who “not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:32). Of course, God has chosen you out of this world (John 15:19). So remember, God chose you to be an “out of this world Christian”!

What did the Lord mean “the servant is not greater than his lord” (John 15:20)? Well, notice He asked them to “remember” when He first said this. In John 13:14-16, His point was that since they weren’t greater than Him, they should wash one another’s feet. Here the thought was, since they weren’t greater than Him, they’d have to be hated and persecuted as He was. Its like how you’ll hear the same objection to grace that Paul did (Rom.6:1) unless you figure out how to preach grace better than he did. The Lord was saying they’d be hated and persecuted unless they figured out how to tell men they are evil better than He did.

If you are wondering why the Lord told them that the world would hate them “for My name’s sake,” it is because that’s what happened to Him! He was hated for His Father’s name’s sake (Ps. 69:7). Now the Lord was about to go away, so He was telling them that the world would now hate them (I Jo. 3:13).

A “cloak” (John 15:22) is a sleeveless outer garment that is so loose you can hide things under it, so when used as a verb it means to hide something. This helps us understand this verse. The Lord didn’t say, “If I had not come, they had not had sin, but now they have sin.” They had sin whether He came or not! He rather said, “If I had not come, they had not sin, but now they can’t hide their sin!”

What sin had they been cloaking? Hatred of the Father, as the Lord went on to say in the next verse (John 15:23). When the Lord came and they hated Him, it showed they had been cloaking their hatred of the Father with their reli-gion. But when the Lord spoke to them (v.22), it uncloaked their hatred of the Father. How so? His words were the Father’s words (John 3:34; 8:26; 12:49)! When they hated Him for His words, it uncloaked their hatred of the Father. His works also uncloaked their hatred of the Father (John 15:24), for His works were the Father’s works (John 14:10). When they hated Him for His works (Mt.9:24), it uncloaked their hatred for the Father.

The genius of God is seen when the Lord applies Psalm 69: 4 to Himself (John 15:25). David wrote that about Saul and his followers, who hated him without a cause. David won battles for Saul and soothed him with his harp, but Saul hated him because he was jealous of his popularity (ISam. 19:5). The Lord won battles for Israel when He cast devils out of her citizens, and soothed them by healing their sick and raising their dead and cleansing their lepers, but the rulers hated him because they were jealous of Him.

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