Matthew 10:23 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
For the battle is about a Name
Ye shall be hated of all men – That is, of all kinds of people. The human heart would be opposed to them, because it is opposed to Christ.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Jesus had broken no law, he had done no injury to his country or to any individual. …
He injures no one, but, amid all their hatred, he seeks their welfare; and, while they reject him in a manner for which they “can give no reason in the day of judgment,” he still follows them with mercies and entreats them to return to him.
Who has ever had any reason to hate the Lord Jesus?
What injury has he ever done to any one of the human race?
What evil has he ever said or thought of any one of them?
What cause or reason had the Jews for putting him to death?
What reason has the sinner for hating him now?
What reason for neglecting him?
No one can give a reason for it that will satisfy his own conscience, none that has the least show of plausibility. Yet no being on earth has ever been more hated, despised, or neglected, and in every instance it has been “without a cause.”
Reader, do you hate him?
If so, I ask you why?
Wherein has he injured you? or why should you think or speak reproachfully of the benevolent and pure Redeemer?
John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The Church and ‘the World’; and the antagonism between these is deep, fundamental, and perpetual.
‘The world’ will be in antagonism to the Church until the world ceases to be a world, because it obeys the King; and then, and not till then, will it cease to be hostile to His subjects.
If we share Christ’s life, we must, necessarily, in some measure, share His fate. It is the typical example of what the world thinks of, and does to, goodness.
And all who have ‘the Spirit of life which was in Jesus Christ’ for the animating principle of their lives, will, just in the measure in which they possess it, come under the same influences which carried Him to the Cross.
In a world like this, it is impossible for a man to ‘love righteousness and hate iniquity,’ and to order his life accordingly, without treading on somebody’s corns; being a rebuke to the opposite course of conduct, either interfering with men’s self-complacency or with their interests.
In the measure in which you and I are Christians we are in direct opposition to all the maxims which rule the world and make it a world.
What we believe to be precious it regards as of no account.
What we believe to be fundamental truth it passes by as of little importance.
Much which we feel to be wrong it regards as good.
Our jewels are its tinsel, and its jewels are our tinsel.
We and it stand in diametrical opposition of thought about God, about self, about duty, about life, about death, about the future; and that opposition goes right down to the bottom of things.
‘If ye were of the world, the world would love its own.’ If it loves you, it is because ye are of it.
Of course, in the bad old slavery days, a Christianity that had not a word to say about the sin of slave-holding ran no risk of being tarred and feathered.
Of course a Christianity in Manchester that winks hard at commercial immoralities is very welcome on the Exchange.
Of course a Christianity that lets beer barrels alone may reckon upon having publicans for its adherents.
Of course a Christianity that blesses flags and sings Te Deums over victories will get its share of the spoil.
Why should the world hate, or persecute, or do anything but despise a Christianity like that, any more than a man need to care for a tame tiger that has had its claws pared? …
It was out-and-out Christians that He said the world would hate; the world likes Christians that are like itself.
Christian men and women! be you sure that you deserve the hostility which my text predicts.
Dear brethren, to which army do you belong?
Which community is yours?
Are you in Christ’s ranks, or are you in the world’s?
Do you love Him back again, or do you meet His open heart with a closed one, and His hand, laden with blessings, with hands clenched in refusal?
To which class do I belong?
It is the question of questions for us all; and I pray that you and I, won from our hatred by His love, and wooed out of our death by His life, and made partakers of His life by His death, may yield our hearts to Him, and so pass from out of the hostility and mistrust of a godless world into the friendships and peace of the sheltering Vine.
And then we ‘shall esteem the reproach of Christ’ if it fall upon our heads, in however modified and mild a form, ‘greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,’ and ‘have respect unto the recompense of the reward.’