If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:18–19 ESV
There’s a church building I pass every day on my way to work.
They put out clever sayings on their sign. You know, the kind like: “Why didn’t Noah swat those two mosquitos?”
Sometimes they’re kind of funny…
…but a few days ago, the message was anything but humorous.
This time, their sign read: “Jesus is the password for a better life.”
Now, at first blush that might not seem like a big deal. In fact, you might be thinking, “Sheesh, lighten up Jordan!”
But it bothers me so much in light of today’s Bible verse: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18a)
Does that sound like the avenue to a better life to you?
Let’s think about what the name of Jesus did for these people:
- Ask Stephen how the stones felt as they pelted his body to death.
- Ask Paul how his many beatings, whippings, and imprisonments felt.
- Ask James how Herod’s sword felt.
- Ask John what it felt like to be boiled alive.
- Ask Peter how it felt to be crucified upside down.
- Ask Andrew what it was like to be crucified on an X-shaped cross.
- Ask Polycarp how it felt to be burned and then stabbed to death.
- Ask Wycliffe, Huss, and Tyndale how it felt to be martyred.
- Ask any of the thousands of persecuted Christians in North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan and so many more how it feels…
There is this incorrect notion today that Jesus simply died to give us easier, more fulfilled lives. Does Jesus infuse our lives with purpose? Certainly!
But did he die for our comfort? Absolutely not. And it belittles the suffering of the martyred saints for us to pretend otherwise.
We are not in the business of selling salvation. Of trying to pretty the gospel with makeup so it’s more attractive.
Jesus promised persecution and spiritual warfare for his disciples. But he also promised SO much more than a “better” life…
…he promised eternal life!
Let’s be mindful of how we speak when it comes to our savior Jesus’s life, death, and purpose on earth. Because anything less than his real mission means the gospel is sold short.
Jesus wasn't a self-help guru. He is the King of kings. Click To Tweet