|Caravaggio, Crucifixion of Peter|
18”If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. 19If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said to you, ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 21But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without a cause.’
Thoughts: Hate. Such a strong word. I don't think any of us want to be hated by the world, hated by anybody. Yet Jesus here is making a very bold prediction: His call to love one another and to serve one another will be met with anger and hatred. It still is. We watch what we say and to whom we say it because we know that the world is not based on love, but on fear. Fear is what motivates markets, politics, faith communities and individual action. So what happens when the God of love abides in us and we in him? What happens when we begin to bear fruit and fear is replaced with love and peace. We would like to think that everything falls into place; but the reality is this is a threat to the world. If we do not fear the markets, fear our neighbor, fear our lose of control--then we become dangerous and it shouldn't surprise us if we are even hated, for the same thing happened to Jesus.
Questions: Jesus reminds us that "servants are not greater than their master." What does that mean to you?