Before we became a follower of Jesus, we were his enemy. We were of the world. We were, primarily, citizens of a particular state as well as a citizen of Babylon. For the most part, people of this world have much in common. You are on the inside and one of the crowd.
As Jesus prepares his disciples for his departure, it is necessary to explain to them how the world will look at them now. We enemies of God have received forgiveness and are now accepted into God’s Kingdom and family. Jesus, the friend of sinners, has changed us and our position in this world. We are now strangers and foreigners in the world but citizens of heaven and children of God.
Though that is a true reality it is not yet complete. We remain in this world for many purposes. One in particular from this context is to testify about Jesus. And when we believe in and speak with certainty concerning the things of God and the gospel, the world will hate us. They will hate us because they do not know (love…believe…trust in) Jesus nor God the Father.
We could speak more about why the world hates us but the reason Jesus tells his disciples these things before they happen is so that they do not fall away. You might be shocked to hear that Jesus’s followers will suffer in this world. In fact, our world is now more difficult in much of the same way it is more difficult to pick up and move to a foreign land.
Becoming a follower of Jesus draws a clear line in the sand. Though we are sinners like the rest of mankind, we have come to believe that God will punish all sinners (indeed He must to be just) unless we repent and believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and being justified by faith alone. We live for the glory of God now instead of making a name for ourselves. And most often, when we believe the world is wicked and in need of salvation through Jesus that brings about division in our relationships in the world.
Jesus goes on to explain the amazing gift and role of the Holy Spirit after he goes to the One who sent him. Indeed, it is to our advantage that Jesus goes to the Father and sends the Spirit to dwell in us. If for no other reason, the Spirit will lead us into all truth. Truth brings freedom…something everyone wants but cannot have apart from the truth. In fact, the world thinks they live in absolute freedom but really they are in bondage.
The world believes they are happy. Again, this is something that every human being wants and will go to great lengths to get it but in reality their happiness is at least temporary but also empty. To trust in Jesus is to find one’s greatest joy and happiness. Nothing makes us more happy than Jesus himself. And this happiness is eternal and full. And someday when we see him, no one will ever steal our joy again.
Maybe this is a place to ask you if Jesus is enough? Are you completely satisfied in him? Is he the treasure of your life? Do you love him more than your family and even yourself?
If this is not true of you then I plead with you…indeed command you to repent and believe in Jesus! Turn from the false hopes of this world…turn from the empty pleasures of sin. Give yourself to Jesus and you will live forever in his perfect Kingdom and your heart will be full of pleasure forever in Jesus. Do not delay.
(Rom. 10:8-13) “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”