You know those people on television who promise things like your best life now? The books written about how God wants us to have it all? They run counter to things Jesus said.
In John 15, after telling the disciples he calls them friend and after talking about love for one another, Jesus gives a reality check.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
That is quite the contrast to what Jesus was talking about right before regarding love one another. Now the word hate is being used. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. That sounds ominous.
If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.
If I had been there, I would have thought-wait a minute Jesus you were just talking about love one another and how we are your friends and now this?
Being identified with Jesus does involve risk. In some places in the world, it can mean death or imprisonment. In the Western World it could mean loss of friendships and opportunities.
When Jesus talked about pick up our cross in Luke 14:27-
And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
He was talking about how we may lose out on things or people in this life because of him.
In John 15 Jesus again brings up the Holy Spirit but note why
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses for Jesus, to go out and share the gospel and show the love of Jesus. We do so even though we will face rejection and at times opposition. We do so out of love for others knowing they are in eternal peril if they do not have Jesus.
This dear reader the reality check from Jesus. The good news is that he is with us no matter what happens.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.