If thou art willing to suffer no adversity, how wilt thou be the friend of Christ? --Thomas à Kempis
Gospel Text John 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
'No slave is greater than his master.'
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me."
Does the world love us? Or do we go against the current, refuse to accept the world's values, and find resistance and maybe even rejection from those around us?
The world asks us to not make waves, to not go against what everyone else thinks and believes and does; the world demands that we conform, and if we do not we are scorned and rejected.
The world having no more grasp on us than it did on Jesus (John 1:5; 10:39; 14:30), we would then find Jesus speaking directly and affectionately to our hearts in this Gospel passage. If the world does love us or even if it just ignores us, we might consider that maybe we are not following Jesus as well as we might.
As those who believe in the Risen Lord and the life that He is calling us to beyond this world, we Christians need to stand out and to show the world what it means to live in this world but not of it, to show what being loved by the Lord means for our loving other people in a way that has little to do with what the world values.
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